Analysis of Epithelial Cell Responses to Microbial Pathogens

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The epithelial cell is usually the first host cell that interacts with the microbiota present at mucosal surfaces. Although initially thought of as "bystander" cells with barrier function, the epithelial cell is now known to be a sentinel cell in the recognition and discrimination of commensal and pathogenic microorganisms and a key cell in initiating subsequent innate and adaptive immune responses. Here, we describe the main assays utilized in analyzing the activation of epithelial cell signaling (western blotting), transcription factors (TransAm), gene expression (quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR)), cytokine responses (ELISA, Luminex), and damage induction (lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release). While our laboratory focuses on the epithelial response to Candida pathogens, these assays can be applied universally to analyze the activation of epithelial cells in response to any microbial pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-82
Number of pages34
JournalMethods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Cell damage
  • Cell signaling
  • Cytokine
  • Gene expression
  • Lactate dehydrogenase
  • Luminex
  • qRT-PCR
  • TransAm
  • Transcription factor
  • Western blotting


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