vendredi 24 avril 2009
par   G. Grégori

Achilles J, Harms H, Muller S (2006) Analysis of living S. cerevisiae cell states—a three color approach. Cytometry A 69 :173-177


BACKGROUND : Biosyntheses often fluctuate with the state of the cell in the cell cycle and on the capacity of the cell to access and metabolize a carbon source. Visualization of substrate uptake by individual cells, together with the simultaneous analysis of proliferation activity and the proportion of dead cells, facilitate reliable and quasi-online process optimization. METHODS : Flow cytometry and Hoechst 33342 staining were used to follow proliferation activity of living Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells, whereas 2-NBD-glucose was employed to analyze the cells’ substrate affinity. Propidium iodide was used to determine the proportion of dead cells. Calibration and verification experiments were performed with cells grown batch-wise as well as in transient state regimes. RESULTS : A new and rapid three-color assay was developed and tested under varying microenvironmental conditions. CONCLUSIONS : Live/dead cell states and the affinity to 2-NBD-glucose vs. proliferation states were determined during respiratory and/or fermentative modes of metabolism.

Allam B, Ford SE (2006) Effects of the pathogenic Vibrio tapetis on defence factors of susceptible and non-susceptible bivalve species : I. Haemocyte changes following in vitro challenge. Fish Shellfish Immunol 20 :374-383


In microbial infections, the interaction between microorganisms and phagocytic cells is a crucial determinant in the outcome of the disease process. We used flow cytometry to study the in vitro interactions between Vibrio tapetis, the bacterium responsible for Brown Ring Disease (BRD) in the Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum, and haemocytes from three bivalve species : the Manila clam (susceptible to BRD), the hard clam Mercenaria mercenaria and the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica (both non-susceptible to BRD). Results demonstrated that V. tapetis cells and extracellular products elicit major changes in the haemocytes of R. philippinarum, including decreased viability and phagocytic activity, and altered size and internal structure. V. tapetis was able to kill haemocytes from M. mercenaria and C. virginica but to a far lesser extent than those of R. philippinarum. These results suggest that disease resistance is not solely dependent on a host activity against the pathogen, but is also a function and magnitude of the injury to the host cell by a given pathogen.

Alonso-Saez L, Gasol JM, Lefort T, Hofer J, Sommaruga R (2006) Effect of natural sunlight on bacterial activity and differential sensitivity of natural bacterioplankton groups in northwestern Mediterranean coastal waters. Appl Environ Microbiol 72 :5806-5813


We studied the effects of natural sunlight on heterotrophic marine bacterioplankton in short-term experiments. We used a single-cell level approach involving flow cytometry combined with physiological probes and microautoradiography to determine sunlight effects on the activity and integrity of the cells. After 4 h of sunlight exposure, most bacterial cells maintained membrane integrity and viability as assessed by the simultaneous staining with propidium iodide and SYBR green I. In contrast, a significant inhibition of heterotrophic bacterial activity was detected, measured by 5-cyano-2,3 ditolyl tetrazolium chloride reduction and leucine incorporation. We applied microautoradiography combined with catalyzed reporter deposition-fluorescence in situ hybridization to test the sensitivity of the different bacterial groups naturally occurring in the Northwestern Mediterranean to sunlight. Members of the Gammaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes groups appeared to be highly resistant to solar radiation, with small changes in activity after exposure. On the contrary, Alphaproteobacteria bacteria were more sensitive to radiation as measured by the cell-specific incorporation of labeled amino acids, leucine, and ATP. Within Alphaproteobacteria, bacteria belonging to the Roseobacter group showed higher resistance than members of the SAR11 cluster. The activity of Roseobacter was stimulated by exposure to photosynthetic available radiation compared to the dark treatment. Our results suggest that UV radiation can significantly affect the in situ single-cell activity of bacterioplankton and that naturally dominating phylogenetic bacterial groups have different sensitivity to natural levels of incident solar radiation.

Baatout S, De Boever P, Mergeay M (2006) Physiological changes induced in four bacterial strains following oxidative stress. Prikl Biokhim Mikrobiol 42 :418-427


In order to study the behaviour and resistance of bacteria under extreme conditions, physiological changes associated with oxidative stress were monitored using flow cytometry. The study was conducted to assess the maintenance of membrane integrity and potential as well as the esterase activity, the intracellular pH and the production of superoxide anions in four bacterial strains (Ralstonia metallidurans, Escherichia coli, Shewanella oneidensis and Deinococcus radiodurans). The strains were chosen for their potential usefulness in bioremediation. Suspensions of R. metallidurans, E. coli, S. oneidensis and D. radiodurans were submitted to 1 h oxidative stress (H2O2 at various concentrations from 0 to 880 mM). Cell membrane permeability (propidium iodide) and potential (rhodamine-123, 3,3’-dihexyloxacarbocyanine iodide), intracellular esterase activity (fluorescein diacetate), intracellular reactive oxygen species concentration (hydroethidine) and intracellular pH (carboxyflurorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (5(6)) were monitored to evaluate the physiological state and the overall fitness of individual bacterial cells under oxidative stress. The four bacterial strains exhibited varying sensitivities towards H2O2. However, for all bacterial strains, some physiological damage could already be observed from 13.25 mM H2O2 onwards, in particular with regard to their membrane permeability. Depending on the bacterial strains, moderate to high physiological damage could be observed between 13.25 mM and 220 mM H2O2. Membrane potential, esterase activity, intracellular pH and production of superoxide anion production were considerably modified at high H2O2 concentrations in all four strains. In conclusion, we show that a range of significant physiological alterations occurs when bacteria are challenged with H2O2 and fluorescent staining methods coupled with flow cytometry are useful for monitoring the changes induced not only by oxidative stress but also by other stresses like temperature, radiation, pressure, pH, etc....

Bacsi A, Choudhury BK, Dharajiya N, Sur S, Boldogh I (2006) Subpollen particles : carriers of allergenic proteins and oxidases. J Allergy Clin Immunol 118 :844-850


BACKGROUND : Pollen is known to induce allergic asthma in atopic individuals, although only a few inhaled pollen grains penetrate into the lower respiratory tract. OBJECTIVE : We sought to provide evidence that subpollen particles (SPPs) of respirable size, possessing both antigenic and redox properties, are released from weed pollen grains and to test their role in allergic airway inflammation. METHODS : The release of SPPs was analyzed by means of microscopic imaging and flow cytometry. The redox properties of SPPs and the SPP-mediated oxidative effect on epithelial cells were determined by using redox-sensitive probes and specific inhibitors. Western blotting and amino acid sequence analysis were used to examine the protein components of the SPP. The allergenic properties of the SPP were determined in a murine model of experimental asthma. RESULTS : Ragweed pollen grains released 0.5 to 4.5 microm of SPPs on hydration. These contained Amb a 1, along with other allergenic proteins of ragweed pollen, and possessed nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (reduced) or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (reduced) [NAD(P)H] oxidase activity. The SPPs significantly increased the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cultured cells and induced allergic airway inflammation in the experimental animals. Pretreatment of the SPPs with NAD(P)H oxidase inhibitors attenuated their capacity to increase ROS levels in the airway epithelial cells and subsequent airway inflammation. CONCLUSIONS : The allergenic potency of SPPs released from ragweed pollen grains is mediated in tandem by ROS generated by intrinsic NAD(P)H oxidases and antigenic proteins. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS : Severe clinical symptoms associated with seasonal asthma might be explained by immune responses to inhaled SPPs carrying allergenic proteins and ROS-producing NAD(P)H oxidases.

Batista LF, Chigancas V, Brumatti G, Amarante-Mendes GP, Menck CF (2006) Involvement of DNA replication in ultraviolet-induced apoptosis of mammalian cells. Apoptosis 11 :1139-1148


Exposure of cells to ultraviolet (UV) light damages the genome and the persistence of DNA lesions triggers apoptosis in mammalian cells. RNA transcription blockage by DNA damage is believed to be implicated in signaling for UV-induced apoptosis, but the role played by DNA replication in this process is still unclear. To address this point, we have employed the DNA polymerase inhibitor aphidicolin in UV-irradiated wild-type and XPB-mutated Chinese hamster ovary cells. The data obtained with synchronized cells indicate that induction of apoptosis by UV light is independent of the cell cycle phase. Nevertheless, cells treated with aphidicolin after UV exposure showed a significant prevention of apoptosis induction when compared to proliferating cells. These results were observed in both DNA-repair proficient and deficient cells, indicating that the prevention of apoptosis by aphidicolin is independent of the cells’ ability to repair the photolesions caused by UV. Taken together, these data suggest that replication of damaged DNA also leads to critical events signaling for UV-induced cell death.

Batista WL, Matsuo AL, Ganiko L, Barros TF, Veiga TR, Freymuller E, Puccia R (2006) The PbMDJ1 gene belongs to a conserved MDJ1/LON locus in thermodimorphic pathogenic fungi and encodes a heat shock protein that localizes to both the mitochondria and cell wall of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. Eukaryot Cell 5 :379-390


J-domain (DnaJ) proteins, of the Hsp40 family, are essential cofactors of their cognate Hsp70 chaperones, besides acting as independent chaperones. In the present study, we have demonstrated the presence of Mdj1, a mitochondrial DnaJ member, not only in the mitochondria, where it is apparently sorted, but also in the cell wall of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, a thermodimorphic pathogenic fungus. The molecule (PbMdj1) was localized to fungal yeast cells using both confocal and electron microscopy and also flow cytometry. The anti-recombinant PbMdj1 antibodies used in the reactions specifically recognized a single 55-kDa mitochondrial and cell wall (alkaline beta-mercaptoethanol extract) component, compatible with the predicted size of the protein devoid of its matrix peptide-targeting signal. Labeling was abundant throughout the cell wall and especially in the budding regions ; however, anti-PbMdj1 did not affect fungal growth in the concentrations tested in vitro, possibly due to the poor access of the antibodies to their target in growing cells. Labeled mitochondria stood preferentially close to the plasma membrane, and gold particles were detected in the thin space between them, toward the cell surface. We show that Mdj1 and the mitochondrial proteinase Lon homologues are heat shock proteins in P. brasiliensis and that their gene organizations are conserved among thermodimorphic fungi and Aspergillus, where the genes are adjacent and have a common 5’ region. This is the first time a DnaJ member has been observed on the cell surface, where its function is speculative.

Benincasa M, Scocchi M, Pacor S, Tossi A, Nobili D, Basaglia G, Busetti M, Gennaro R (2006) Fungicidal activity of five cathelicidin peptides against clinically isolated yeasts. J Antimicrob Chemother 58 :950-959


OBJECTIVES : To investigate the in vitro antifungal activity of the structurally different cathelicidin peptides SMAP-29, BMAP-27, BMAP-28, protegrin-1 (PG-1) and indolicidin. METHODS : The in vitro antifungal and fungicidal activities of these antimicrobial peptides were respectively assessed via MIC determinations and killing kinetics assays. The effects of the peptides on membrane permeabilization and morphology were evaluated by flow cytometry, intracellular ATP release measurements and scanning electron microscopy. RESULTS : All five peptides showed a potent but differential antifungal activity against more than 70 clinical isolates belonging to over 20 different species of pathogenic fungi ; some of which are resistant to amphotericin B and azoles. The MIC values of the peptides ranged between 0.5 and 32 microM, with PG-1 being the most effective and having the widest spectrum of activity. Filamentous fungi were instead found to be scarcely susceptible to the action of these cathelicidin peptides. All these cathelicidins rapidly killed Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The rapid uptake of propidium iodide into treated cells and morphological alterations apparent on their cellular surfaces suggest a killing mechanism based on membrane permeabilization and damage. CONCLUSIONS : This study indicates that these five structurally varied host defence peptides are all endowed with the capacity to inactivate a number of fungal pathogens, irrespectively of their resistance to antifungal drugs, and suggests they might be potentially useful leads for the development of novel fungicidal agents.

Bennett RJ, Johnson AD (2006) The role of nutrient regulation and the Gpa2 protein in the mating pheromone response of C. albicans. Mol Microbiol 62 :100-119


Although traditionally classified as asexual, the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans can undergo highly efficient mating. A key component of this mating is the response to pheromone, which is mediated by a conserved kinase cascade that transduces the signal from the pheromone receptor to a transcriptional response in the nucleus. In this paper we show (i) that the detailed response of C. albicans to the alpha pheromone differs among clinical isolates, (ii) that the response depends critically on nutritional conditions, (iii) that the entire response is mediated by the Ste2 receptor, and (iv) that, in terms of genes induced, the response to alpha pheromone in C. albicans shows only marginal overlap with the response in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We further investigated the nutritional control of pheromone induction and identify the GPA2 gene as a critical component. We found that Deltagpa2/Deltagpa2 mutants are hypersensitive to pheromone and, unlike wild-type strains, show efficient cell cycle arrest (including the formation of characteristic halos on solid medium) in response to mating pheromone. These results indicate that C. albicans, like several other fungal species but unlike S. cerevisiae, integrates signals from a nutrient-sensing pathway with those of the pheromone response MAP kinase pathway to generate the final transcriptional response.

Berger S, Hinz D, Bannantine JP, Griffin JF (2006) Isolation of high-affinity single-chain antibodies against Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis surface proteins from sheep with Johne’s disease. Clin Vaccine Immunol 13 :1022-1029


Johne’s disease, caused by infection with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis, causes significant economic losses to the livestock farming industry. Improved investigative and diagnostic tools-necessary to understand disease processes and to identify subclinical infection-are much sought after. Here, we describe the production of single-chain antibodies with defined specificity for M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis surface proteins. Single-chain antibodies (scFv) were generated from sheep with Johne’s disease by cloning heavy-chain and lambda light-chain variable regions and expressing these in fusion with gene III of filamentous phages. Two scFv clones (designated SurfS1.2 and SurfS2.2) were shown to be immunoreactive against M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis surface targets by flow cytometry, and immunoblotting identified specificity for a 34-kDa proteinase-susceptible determinant. Both antibodies were cross-reactive against Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium but nonreactive against Mycobacterium bovis or Mycobacterium phlei cells and were shown to be capable of enriching M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis cells by a factor of approximately 10(6)-fold when employed in magnetic bead separation of mixed Mycobacterium sp. cultures. Further, magnetic bead separation using SurfS1.2 and SurfS2.2 was capable of isolating as few as 10(3) M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis cells from ovine fecal samples, indicating the diagnostic potential of these reagents. Finally, inclusion of SurfS1.2 or SurfS2.2 in in vitro broth culture with M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis indicated that surface binding activity did not impede bacterial growth, although colony clumping was prevented. These results are discussed in terms of the potential use of single-chain phage display monoclonal antibodies as novel diagnostic reagents.

Bergqvist P, Gardby E, Stensson A, Bemark M, Lycke NY (2006) Gut IgA class switch recombination in the absence of CD40 does not occur in the lamina propria and is independent of germinal centers. J Immunol 177 :7772-7783


Conflicting findings have recently been presented as to the sites and sources of B cells that undergo class switch recombination (CSR) to IgA in the gut. In this study we provide compelling evidence in CD40(-/-) mice demonstrating that IgA CSR can be independent of CD40 signaling and germinal center formation and does not occur in the gut lamina propria (LP) itself. We found that CD40(-/-) mice had near normal levels of gut total IgA despite lacking germinal centers and completely failing to raise specific responses against the T cell-dependent Ags cholera toxin and keyhole limpet hemocyanin. The Peyer’s patches in CD40(-/-) mice expressed unexpectedly high levels of activation-induced cytidine deaminase mRNA and germline alpha transcripts, but few postswitch circular DNA transcripts, arguing against significant IgA CSR. Moreover and more surprisingly, wild-type mice exhibited no to low IgA CSR in mesenteric lymph nodes or isolated lymphoid follicles. Importantly, both strains failed to demonstrate any of the molecular markers for IgA CSR in the gut LP itself. Whereas all of the classical sites for IgA CSR in the GALT in CD40(-/-) mice appeared severely compromised for IgA CSR, B cells in the peritoneal cavity demonstrated the expression of activation-induced cytidine deaminase mRNA comparable to that of wild-type mice. However, peritoneal cavity B cells in both strains expressed intermediate levels of the germinal center marker GL7 and exhibited no germline alpha transcripts, and only three of 51 mice analyzed showed the presence of postswitch circular DNA transcripts. Taken together, these findings strongly argue for alternative inductive sites for gut IgA CSR against T cell-independent Ags outside of the GALT and the nonorganized LP.

Berney M, Weilenmann HU, Egli T (2006) Flow-cytometric study of vital cellular functions in Escherichia coli during solar disinfection (SODIS). Microbiology 152 :1719-1729


The effectiveness of solar disinfection (SODIS), a low-cost household water treatment method for developing countries, was investigated with flow cytometry and viability stains for the enteric bacterium Escherichia coli. A better understanding of the process of injury or death of E. coli during SODIS could be gained by investigating six different cellular functions, namely : efflux pump activity (Syto 9 plus ethidium bromide), membrane potential [bis-(1,3-dibutylbarbituric acid)trimethine oxonol ; DiBAC4(3)], membrane integrity (LIVE/DEAD BacLight), glucose uptake activity (2-[N-(7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl)amino]-2-deoxy-d-glucose ; 2-NBDG), total ATP concentration (BacTiter-Glo) and culturability (pour-plate method). These variables were measured in E. coli K-12 MG1655 cells that were exposed to either sunlight or artificial UVA light. The inactivation pattern of cellular functions was very similar for both light sources. A UVA light dose (fluence) of <500 kJ m(-2) was enough to lower the proton motive force, such that efflux pump activity and ATP synthesis decreased significantly. The loss of membrane potential, glucose uptake activity and culturability of >80 % of the cells was observed at a fluence of approximately 1500 kJ m(-2), and the cytoplasmic membrane of bacterial cells became permeable at a fluence of >2500 kJ m(-2). Culturable counts of stressed bacteria after anaerobic incubation on sodium pyruvate-supplemented tryptic soy agar closely correlated with the loss of membrane potential. The results strongly suggest that cells exposed to >1500 kJ m(-2) solar UVA (corresponding to 530 W m(-2) global sunlight intensity for 6 h) were no longer able to repair the damage and recover. Our study confirms the lethal effect of SODIS with cultivation-independent methods and gives a detailed picture of the ’agony’ of E. coli when it is stressed with sunlight.

Bollmann M, Varnai AD, Griefingholt H, Bankfalvi A, Callenberg H, Speich N, Schmitt C, Bollmann R (2006) Predicting treatment outcome in cervical diseases using liquid-based cytology, dynamic HPV genotyping and DNA cytometry. Anticancer Res 26 :1439-1446


BACKGROUND : In this study, our prospective experience with a multimodal follow-up protocol is summarized, with special emphasis on predicting the treatment outcome of cervical diseases. MATERIALS AND METHODS : Liquid-based cytology samples (ThinPrep) from 209 women exhibiting the whole spectrum of human papilloma virus (HPV)-related cervical diseases were investigated by cytology, PCR-based HPV genotyping and DNA cytometry pre-surgery. The first control cytology and type-specific HPV tests were performed at 3 months post-surgery. RESULTS : The success rate of surgery was 95% in eradicating high-grade cervical disease and 90% in eliminating the baseline HPV genotype. Treatment failure was significantly correlated with baseline cytology (p=0.011), resection margin status (p=0.016) and HPV positivity at 3 months post-surgery (p=0.04). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that type-specific persistent HPV infection (p=0.028), baseline cytology (p=0.039) and histology (p=0.065) were independent predictors of residual cervical neoplasias. CONCLUSION : Our results showed that our multimodal surveillance protocol may help to individually assess the anticipated clinical outcome of cervical diseases post-surgery.

Boon N, Depuydt S, Verstraete W (2006) Evolutionary algorithms and flow cytometry to examine the parameters influencing transconjugant formation. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 55 :17-27


An evolutionary algorithm was used to determine the optimal combination of parameters for transconjugant formation. As a model system, a gfp tagged TOL plasmid pWW0 was chosen to examine transfer from Pseudomonas putida to Escherichia coli. A comparison of flow cytometry results with plating and microscopy showed that the majority of transconjugants were not culturable. The transconjugant ratio therefore was determined by flow cytometry. The evolutionary algorithm showed that the optimal conditions were obtained at 28 degrees C and at the highest nutrient concentrations. This work demonstrates that evolutionary algorithms can be used to find optimal parameter interactions in environmental microbiology.

Bouman HA, Ulloa O, Scanlan DJ, Zwirglmaier K, Li WK, Platt T, Stuart V, Barlow R, Leth O, Clementson L, Lutz V, Fukasawa M, Watanabe S, Sathyendranath S (2006) Oceanographic basis of the global surface distribution of Prochlorococcus ecotypes. Science 312 :918-921


By using data collected during a continuous circumnavigation of the Southern Hemisphere, we observed clear patterns in the population-genetic structure of Prochlorococcus, the most abundant photosynthetic organism on Earth, between and within the three Southern Subtropical Gyres. The same mechanisms that were previously invoked to account for the vertical distribution of ecotypes at local scales accounted for the global (horizontal) patterns we observed. Basin-scale and seasonal variations in the structure and strength of vertical stratification provide a basis for understanding large-scale horizontal distribution in genetic and physiological traits of Prochlorococcus, and perhaps of marine microbial communities in general.

Bradbury JE, Richards KD, Niederer HA, Lee SA, Rod Dunbar P, Gardner RC (2006) A homozygous diploid subset of commercial wine yeast strains. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 89 :27-37


Genetic analysis was performed on 45 commercial yeasts which are used in winemaking because of their superior fermentation properties. Genome sizes were estimated by propidium iodide fluorescence and flow cytometry. Forty strains had genome sizes consistent with their being diploid, while five had a range of aneuploid genome sizes that ranged from 1.2 to 1.8 times larger. The diploid strains are all Saccharomyces cerevisiae, based on genetic analysis of microsatellite and minisatellite markers and on DNA sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of nuclear ribosomal DNA of four strains. Four of the five aneuploid strains appeared to be interspecific hybrids between Saccharomyces kudriavzevii and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, with the fifth a hybrid between two S. cerevisiae strains. An identification fingerprint was constructed for the commercial yeast strains using 17 molecular markers. These included six published trinucleotide microsatellites, seven new dinucleotide microsatellites, and four published minisatellite markers. The markers provided unambiguous identification of the majority of strains ; however, several had identical or similar patterns, and likely represent the same strain or mutants derived from it. The combined use of all 17 polymorphic loci allowed us to identify a set of eleven commercial wine yeast strains that appear to be genetically homozygous. These strains are presumed to have undergone inbreeding to maintain their homozygosity, a process referred to previously as ’genome renewal’.

Bressollette-Bodin C, Andre-Garnier E, Robillard N, Billaudel S, Imbert-Marcille BM (2006) A multiparametric flow cytometry method for detection of modifications of antigen expression in polymorphonuclear cells infected by human cytomegalovirus. J Virol Methods 132 :32-39


Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) has been shown to alter adhesion molecule expression on permissive cells such as endothelial cells. The aim of the present study was to investigate expression of receptors for these molecules on CMV infected polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNLs). CMV-induced variations on cellular integrin expression were examined using an in vitro system to obtain infected PMNLs. A triparametric flow cytometry approach was developed, which allows combined detection, in a single experiment, of both viral intranuclear antigen in the selected PMNLs and cellular CD11/CD18 expression. Comparison of infected PMNLs with uninfected cells showed a decrease of up to 50% in the expression of CD11b, CD11c, and CD18. This study thus demonstrates that the presence of CMV in PMNLs, which characterizes active infection, modifies the expression of integrins and may thus affect cell-to-cell interactions and immune functions.

Brown SV, Hosking P, Li J, Williams N (2006) ATP synthase is responsible for maintaining mitochondrial membrane potential in bloodstream form Trypanosoma brucei. Eukaryot Cell 5 :45-53


The mitochondrion of Trypanosoma brucei bloodstream form maintains a membrane potential, although it lacks cytochromes and several Krebs cycle enzymes. At this stage, the ATP synthase is present at reduced, although significant, levels. To test whether the ATP synthase at this stage is important for maintaining the mitochondrial membrane potential, we used RNA interference (RNAi) to knock down the levels of the ATP synthase by targeting the F1-ATPase alpha and beta subunits. RNAi-induced cells grew significantly slower than uninduced cells but were not morphologically altered. RNAi of the beta subunit decreased the mRNA and protein levels for the beta subunit, as well as the mRNA and protein levels of the alpha subunit. Similarly, RNAi of alpha subunit decreased the alpha subunit transcript and protein levels, as well as the beta-subunit transcript and protein levels. In contrast, alpha and beta RNAi knockdown resulted in a 60% increase in the F0 complex subunit 9 protein levels without a significant change in the steady-state transcript levels of this subunit. The F0-32-kDa subunit protein expression, however, remained stable throughout induction of RNAi for alpha or beta subunits. Oligomycin-sensitive ATP hydrolytic and synthetic activities were decreased by 43 and 44%, respectively. Significantly, the mitochondrial membrane potential of alpha and beta RNAi cells was decreased compared to wild-type cells, as detected by MitoTracker Red CMXRos fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. These results support the role of the ATP synthase in the maintenance of the mitochondrial membrane potential in bloodstream form T. brucei.

Brunser O, Gotteland M, Cruchet S, Figueroa G, Garrido D, Steenhout P (2006) Effect of a milk formula with prebiotics on the intestinal microbiota of infants after an antibiotic treatment. Pediatr Res 59 :451-456


Antibiotics exert deleterious effects on the intestinal microbiota, favoring the emergence of opportunistic bacteria and diarrhea. Prebiotics are nondigestible food components that stimulate the growth of bifidobacteria. Our aim was to evaluate the effects on the intestinal microbiota of a prebiotic-supplemented milk formula after an antibiotic treatment. A randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial was carried out in 140 infants 1-2 y of age distributed into two groups after a 1-wk amoxicillin treatment (50 mg/kg/d) for acute bronchitis. The children received for 3 wk >500 mL/d of a formula with prebiotics (4.5 g/L) or a control without prebiotics. Fecal samples were obtained on d -7 (at the beginning of the antibiotic treatment), on d 0 (end of the treatment and before formula administration), and on d 7 and 21 (during formula administration). Counts of Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus-Enterococcus, Clostridium lituseburiense cluster, Clostridium histolyticum cluster, Escherichia coli, and Bacteroides-Prevotella were evaluated by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and flow cytometry. Tolerance and gastrointestinal symptoms were recorded daily. Amoxicillin decreased total fecal bacteria and increased E. coli. The prebiotic significantly increased bifidobacteria from 8.17 +/- 1.46 on d 0 to 8.54 +/- 1.20 on d 7 compared with the control 8.22 +/- 1.24 on d 0 versus 7.95 +/- 1.54 on d 7. The Lactobacillus population showed a similar tendency while the other bacteria were unaffected. No gastrointestinal symptoms were detected during the prebiotic administration. Prebiotics in a milk formula increase fecal bifidobacteria early after amoxicillin treatment without inducing gastrointestinal symptoms.

Bubner B, Gase K, Berger B, Link D, Baldwin IT (2006) Occurrence of tetraploidy in Nicotiana attenuata plants after Agrobacterium-mediated transformation is genotype specific but independent of polysomaty of explant tissue. Plant Cell Rep 25 :668-675


Genotypes of Nicotiana attenuata collected from Utah and Arizona were transformed with 17 different vectors (14 unpublished vectors based on 3 new backbone vectors) using an Agrobacterium-mediated procedure to functionally analyze genes important for plant-insect interactions. None of the 51 T1-T3 transgenic Utah lines analyzed by the flow cytometry were tetraploid, as opposed to 18 of 33 transgenic Arizona lines (55%). Analysis of T0 regenerants transformed with the same vector carrying an inverted repeat (IR) N. attenuata pro-systemin construct confirmed the genotype dependency of tetraploidization : none of the 23 transgenic Utah lines were tetraploid but 31 (72%) of 43 transgenic Arizonas were tetraploid. We tested the hypothesis that the differences in polysomaty of the explant tissues accounted for genotype dependency of tetraploid formation by measuring polysomaty levels in different seedling tissues. Hypocotyls, cotyledons, and roots of Utah and Arizona genotypes contained similar percentages of 4C nuclei (61 and 60 ; 7 and 5 ; and 58 and 61%, respectively). Since we used hypocotyls as explant sources and the nonoccurrence of tetraploid Utah transformants does not correspond to the high percentage of 4C nuclei in Utah hypocotyls, we can rule out a direct relationship between tetraploid formation and polysomaty level. We hypothesize that the difference between the Utah and Arizona genotypes results from the failure of polyploid Utah callus to regenerate into fully competent plants. We propose that future work on post-transformation polyploidy concentrate on the processes that occur during callus formation and plant regeneration from callus.

Cafruny WA, Duman RG, Wong GH, Said S, Ward-Demo P, Rowland RR, Nelson EA (2006) Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) infection spreads by cell-to-cell transfer in cultured MARC-145 cells, is dependent on an intact cytoskeleton, and is suppressed by drug-targeting of cell permissiveness to virus infection. Virol J 3 :90


BACKGROUND : Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is the etiologic agent of PRRS, causing widespread chronic infections which are largely uncontrolled by currently available vaccines or other antiviral measures. Cultured monkey kidney (MARC-145) cells provide an important tool for the study of PRRSV replication. For the present study, flow cytometric and fluorescence antibody (FA) analyses of PRRSV infection of cultured MARC-145 cells were carried out in experiments designed to clarify viral dynamics and the mechanism of viral spread. The roles of viral permissiveness and the cytoskeleton in PRRSV infection and transmission were examined in conjunction with antiviral and cytotoxic drugs. RESULTS : Flow cytometric and FA analyses of PRRSV antigen expression revealed distinct primary and secondary phases of MARC-145 cell infection. PRRSV antigen was randomly expressed in a few percent of cells during the primary phase of infection (up to about 20-22 h p.i.), but the logarithmic infection phase (days 2-3 p.i.), was characterized by secondary spread to clusters of infected cells. The formation of secondary clusters of PRRSV-infected cells preceded the development of CPE in MARC-145 cells, and both primary and secondary PRRSV infection were inhibited by colchicine and cytochalasin D, demonstrating a critical role of the cytoskeleton in viral permissiveness as well as cell-to-cell transmission from a subpopulation of cells permissive for free virus to secondary targets. Cellular expression of actin also appeared to correlate with PRRSV resistance, suggesting a second role of the actin cytoskeleton as a potential barrier to cell-to-cell transmission. PRRSV infection and cell-to-cell transmission were efficiently suppressed by interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), as well as the more-potent experimental antiviral agent AK-2. CONCLUSION : The results demonstrate two distinct mechanisms of PRRSV infection : primary infection of a relatively small subpopulation of innately PRRSV-permissive cells, and secondary cell-to-cell transmission to contiguous cells which appear non-permissive to free virus. The results also indicate that an intact cytoskeleton is critical for PRRSV infection, and that viral permissiveness is a highly efficient drug target to control PRRSV infection. The data from this experimental system have important implications for the mechanisms of PRRSV persistence and pathology, as well as for a better understanding of arterivirus regulation.

Cao L, Volgina A, Korostoff J, DiRienzo JM (2006) Role of intrachain disulfides in the activities of the CdtA and CdtC subunits of the cytolethal distending toxin of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans. Infect Immun 74 :4990-5002


The cytolethal distending toxin (Cdt) of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans is an atypical A-B-type toxin consisting of a heterotrimer composed of the cdtA, cdtB, and cdtC gene products. The CdtA and CdtC subunits form two heterogeneous ricin-like lectin domains which bind the holotoxin to the target cell. Point mutations were used to study CdtC structure and function. One (mutC216(F97C)) of eight single-amino-acid replacement mutants identified yielded a gene product that failed to form biologically active holotoxin. Based on the possibility that the F97C mutation destabilized a predicted disulfide, targeted mutagenesis was used to examine the contribution of each of four cysteine residues, in two predicted disulfides (C96/C107 and C135/C149), to CdtC activities. Cysteine replacement mutations in two predicted disulfides (C136/C149 and C178/C197) in CdtA were also characterized. Flow cytometry and CHO cell proliferation assays showed that changing either C96 or C149 in CdtC to alanine abolished the biological activity of holotoxin complexes. However, replacing C107 or C135 in CdtC and any of the four cysteines in CdtA with alanine or serine resulted in only partial or no loss of holotoxin activity. Changes in the biological activities of the mutant holotoxins correlated with altered subunit binding. In contrast to elimination of the B chain of ricin, the elimination of intrachain disulfides in CdtC and CdtA by genetic replacement of cysteines destabilizes these subunit proteins but not to the extent that cytotoxicity is lost. Reduction of the wild-type holotoxin did not affect cytotoxicity, and the reduced form of wild-type CdtA exhibited a statistically significant increase in binding to ligand. A diminished role for intrachain disulfides in stabilizing CdtA and CdtC may have clinical relevance for the A. actinomycetemcomitans Cdt. The cdt gene products secreted by this pathogen assemble and bind to target cells in periodontally involved sites, which are decidedly reduced environments in the human oral cavity.

Chai N, Bates P (2006) Na+/H+ exchanger type 1 is a receptor for pathogenic subgroup J avian leukosis virus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 103 :5531-5536


Subgroup J avian leukosis virus (ALV-J) is a recently identified avian oncogenic retrovirus responsible for severe economic losses worldwide. In contrast with the other ALV subgroups, ALV-J predominantly induces myeloid leukosis in meat-type chickens. Despite significant homology with the other ALV subgroups across most of the genome, the envelope protein of ALV-J (EnvJ) shares low homology with the others. Pathogenicity and myeloid leukosis induction map to the env gene of ALV-J. A chimeric protein composed of the surface domain of EnvJ fused to the constant region of a rabbit IgG and mass spectrometry were used to identify the chicken Na(+)/H(+) exchanger type 1 (chNHE1) as a binding protein for ALV-J. Flow cytometry analysis and coprecipitation experiments demonstrated a specific interaction between EnvJ and chNHE1. When introduced into nonpermissive human 293T cells and quail QT6 cells, chNHE1 conferred susceptibility to EnvJ-mediated infection. Furthermore, 293T cells expressing chNHE1 fused with 293T cells expressing EnvJ in a low-pH-dependent manner. Together, these data identify chNHE1 as a cellular receptor for the highly pathogenic ALV-J.

Chaney D, Rodriguez S, Fugelsang K, Thornton R (2006) Managing high-density commercial scale wine fermentations. J Appl Microbiol 100 :689-698


AIMS : To investigate the effects of grape juice dilution and different temperature/nitrogen addition regimes on commercial-scale, high-density Shiraz and Chardonnay fermentations. METHODS AND RESULTS : Duplicated fermentations (30 hl) were conducted at two temperatures for Shiraz and for Chardonnay. Two additional tanks of Chardonnay and Shiraz were diluted. Nitrogen was added once at inoculation or in aliquots over several days. Yeast concentration and viability was determined by flow cytometry. Fermentation chemistry was monitored by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Fermentations arrested in both of the undiluted, higher temperature duplicate tanks of Shiraz. Different fermentation temperature resulted in sensorially different Shiraz, but not Chardonnay, wines made from undiluted musts. The converse was observed for wines made from diluted musts. CONCLUSIONS : High-density musts can be fermented completely using reduced fermentation temperature coupled with incremental nitrogen addition. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY : This is the first study in duplicated, commercial-scale, high-density grape juice fermentations to address temperature, nitrogen addition, and juice dilution effects on stuck fermentation potential and wine sensory properties.

Chen LY, Luo M, Li TC, Dai G, Luo MH (2006) [Effect of HCMV on p38MAPK, apoptosis and cell cycle of human glioma U251 cells]. Zhonghua Er Ke Za Zhi 44 :778-781


OBJECTIVE : To study the changes of p38MAPK expressions, the frequency of apoptosis and the distribution of cell cycle of hunan Glioma U251 cells after HCMV infection. METHODS : The expression of total p38 (both phosphorylated and nonphosphorylated p38) and phosphorylated p38 in U251 cells were detected by Western blotting at 15 min, 30 min, 1 h, 6 h, 10 h, 16 h, 24 h, 36 h and 48 h after HCMV infection. The apoptosis percentage and the cell cycle distribution of U251 cells at 2 d, 5 d and 7 d after HCMV infection were detected by flow cytometry (FCM). RESULTS : The results of Western blotting demonstrated that a strong increase in phosphorylated p38 was detected from 6 h to 10 h after HCMV infection, with mean gray scales 186.33 +/- 7.51 (t = 5.37, P < 0.01) and 188.00 +/- 7.02 (t = 5.26, P < 0.01 for all) at 6 h and 10 h, respectively, and p38 phosphorylation decreased to the basic level at 16 h after HCMV infection. But the overall levels of p38 protein were not significantly altered during the course of infection. FCM analysis showed that HCMV could significantly increase the apoptotic rates of U251 cells compared with controls (t = 10.84, P < 0.01), and the apoptotic percentages of the cells reached to peak [(10.18 +/- 1.24)%] at 5 d after HCMV infection. The data of FCM showed that HCMV could decrease the number of U251 cells in G1 phase and arrest the cells in S and G2 phase. The numbers of G1 phase U251 cells were significantly lowered to (56.50 +/- 2.57)% (t = 26.45, P < 0.01), (62.33 +/- 2.64)% (t = 21.20, P < 0.01) and (67.45 +/- 4.44)% (t = 10.61, P < 0.01), respectively at 2 d, 5 d and 7 d after infection. CONCLUSION : HCMV could activate p38MAPK pathway and trigger apoptosis and interfere cell cycle in U251 cells.

Chiarini LB, Takiya CM, Borojevic R, Monteiro AN (2006) Long-term culture of cholangiocytes from liver fibro-granulomatous lesions. BMC Gastroenterol 6 :13


BACKGROUND : Extensive bile duct proliferation is a key feature of the tissue reaction to clinical and experimental forms of liver injury. Experimental infection of mice by Schistosoma mansoni is a well-studied model of liver fibrosis with bile duct hyperplasia. However, the regulatory mechanisms of bile duct changes are not well understood. In this study we report the reproducible isolation of long-term cultures of cholangiocytes from mice livers with schistosomal fibrosis. METHODS : We have isolated a cholangiocyte cell line from Schistosoma-induced liver granulomas using a combination of methods including selective adhesion and isopyknic centrifugation in Percoll. RESULTS : The cell line was characterized by morphological criteria in optical and transmission electron microscopy, ability to form well differentiated ductular structures in collagen gels and by a positive staining for cytokeratin 18 and cytokeratin 19. To our knowledge, this is the first murine cholangiocyte cell line isolated from schistosomal fibrosis reported in the literature. CONCLUSION : After 9 months and 16 passages this diploid cell line maintained differentiated characteristics and a high proliferative capacity. We believe the method described here may be a valuable tool to study bile duct changes during hepatic injury.

Cirino F, Webley WC, West C, Croteau NL, Andrzejewski C, Jr., Stuart ES (2006) Detection of Chlamydia in the peripheral blood cells of normal donors using in vitro culture, immunofluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry techniques. BMC Infect Dis 6 :23


BACKGROUND : Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) and Chlamydia pneumoniae (Cp) are medically significant infectious agents associated with various chronic human pathologies. Nevertheless, specific roles in disease progression or initiation are incompletely defined. Both pathogens infect established cell lines in vitro and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has detected Chlamydia DNA in various clinical specimens as well as in normal donor peripheral blood monocytes (PBMC). However, Chlamydia infection of other blood cell types, quantification of Chlamydia infected cells in peripheral blood and transmission of this infection in vitro have not been examined. METHODS : Cp specific titers were assessed for sera from 459 normal human donor blood (NBD) samples. Isolated white blood cells (WBC) were assayed by in vitro culture to evaluate infection transmission of blood cell borne chlamydiae. Smears of fresh blood samples (FB) were dual immunostained for microscopic identification of Chlamydia-infected cell types and aliquots also assessed using Flow Cytometry (FC). RESULTS : ELISA demonstrated that 219 (47.7%) of the NBD samples exhibit elevated anti-Cp antibody titers. Imunofluorescence microscopy of smears demonstrated 113 (24.6%) of samples contained intracellular Chlamydia and monoclonals to specific CD markers showed that in vivo infection of neutrophil and eosinophil/basophil cells as well as monocytes occurs. In vitro culture established WBCs of 114 (24.8%) of the NBD samples harbored infectious chlamydiae, clinically a potentially source of transmission, FC demonstrated both Chlamydia infected and uninfected cells can be readily identified and quantified. CONCLUSION : NBD can harbor infected neutrophils, eosinophil/basophils and monocytes. The chlamydiae are infectious in vitro, and both total, and cell type specific Chlamydia carriage is quantifiable by FC.

Coetzee JF, Apley MD, Kocan KM, Jones DE (2006) Flow cytometric evaluation of selected antimicrobial efficacy for clearance of Anaplasma marginale in short-term erythrocyte cultures. J Vet Pharmacol Ther 29 :173-183


The tick-borne rickettsia, Anaplasma marginale, causes the economically important cattle disease anaplasmosis. Once infected, cattle remain lifelong carriers. Herein, we used flow cytometry to test the efficacy of three antimicrobials ; oxytetracycline, imidocarb and enrofloxacin against Virginia (VGN) or Oklahoma (OK) A. marginale isolates in short-term erythrocyte cultures. Parasite viability was assessed using the vital dye hydroethidine (HE), which is detectable when living organisms convert HE to ethidium bromide. Viability of A. marginale in selected cultures was determined by subinoculation into susceptible calves. Data were analyzed by MANOVA, Tukey-Kramer honest significant difference and Wilcoxon rank sum tests. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to correlate results with culture infectivity. Enrofloxacin inhibited A. marginale in a dose dependent manner. Surprisingly, higher concentrations of imidocarb were less effective than lower concentrations against A. marginale with significant differences (P < 0.05) observed between the two isolates. Oxytetracycline was the least active drug tested. Cultures infected with the OK isolate exposed to 4.0 microg/mL enrofloxacin and those of the VGN and OK isolates exposed to 1.0 microg/mL imidocarb were sterilized. This is the first in vitro study demonstrating the efficacy of enrofloxacin against A. marginale. Furthermore, these data indicate that flow cytometry is a useful assay for screening antimicrobials against A. marginale.

Collins MT (2006) Proper estimation of sensitivity and specificity. Clin Vaccine Immunol 13 :1373 ; author reply 1373-1374


Cottrell MT, Mannino A, Kirchman DL (2006) Aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria in the Mid-Atlantic Bight and the North Pacific Gyre. Appl Environ Microbiol 72 :557-564


The abundance of aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic (AAP) bacteria, cyanobacteria, and heterotrophs was examined in the Mid-Atlantic Bight and the central North Pacific Gyre using infrared fluorescence microscopy coupled with image analysis and flow cytometry. AAP bacteria comprised 5% to 16% of total prokaryotes in the Atlantic Ocean but only 5% or less in the Pacific Ocean. In the Atlantic, AAP bacterial abundance was as much as 2-fold higher than that of Prochlorococcus spp. and 10-fold higher than that of Synechococcus spp. In contrast, Prochlorococcus spp. outnumbered AAP bacteria 5- to 50-fold in the Pacific. In both oceans, subsurface abundance maxima occurred within the photic zone, and AAP bacteria were least abundant below the 1% light depth. The abundance of AAP bacteria rivaled some groups of strictly heterotrophic bacteria and was often higher than the abundance of known AAP bacterial genera (Erythrobacter and Roseobacter spp.). Concentrations of bacteriochlorophyll a (BChl a) were low ( approximately 1%) compared to those of chlorophyll a in the North Atlantic. Although the BChl a content of AAP bacteria per cell was typically 20- to 250-fold lower than the divinyl-chlorophyll a content of Prochlorococcus, the pigment content of AAP bacteria approached that of Prochlorococcus in shelf break water. Our results suggest that AAP bacteria can be quite abundant in some oceanic regimes and that their distribution in the water column is consistent with phototrophy.

Countway PD, Caron DA (2006) Abundance and distribution of Ostreococcus sp. in the San Pedro Channel, California, as revealed by quantitative PCR. Appl Environ Microbiol 72 :2496-2506


Ostreococcus is a genus of widely distributed marine phytoplankton which are picoplanktonic in size (<2 mum) and capable of rapid growth. Although Ostreococcus has been detected around the world, little quantitative information exists on its contribution to planktonic communities. We designed and implemented a genus-specific TaqMan-based quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay to investigate the dynamics and ecology of Ostreococcus at the USC Microbial Observatory (eastern North Pacific). Samples were collected from 5 m and the deep chlorophyll maximum (DCM) between September 2000 and August 2002. Ostreococcus abundance at 5 m was generally <5.0 x 10(3) cells ml(-1), with a maximum of 8.2 x 10(4) cells ml(-1). Ostreococcus abundance was typically higher at the DCM, with a maximum of 3.2 x 10(5) cells ml(-1). The vertical distribution of Ostreococcus was examined in March 2005 and compared to the distribution of phototrophic picoeukaryotes (PPE) measured by flow cytometry. The largest contribution to PPE abundance by Ostreococcus was approximately 70% and occurred at 30 m, near the DCM. Despite its relatively low abundance, the depth-integrated standing stock of Ostreococcus in March 2005 was approximately 30 mg C m(-2). Our work provides a new technique for quantifying the abundance of Ostreococcus and demonstrates the seasonal dynamics of this genus and its contribution to picoeukaryote biomass at our coastal sampling station.

Dai SZ, Kong SF, Huang LL, Luo B (2006) [Construction and package of the expression plasmid pAdEasy-1 system encoding the human papillomavirus 16 E7 gene and the gene’s influence on HeLa cells]. Zhonghua Fu Chan Ke Za Zhi 41 :612-617


OBJECTIVE : To investigate the effect of human papillomavirus 16 E7 gene on cell cycle of cervical cancer HeLa cell, through construction and expression of human papillomavirus 16 E7 gene with adenovirus vector. METHODS : Recombinant adenovirus which expressed E7 gene was constructed and packed. Flow cytometry (FCM) was used to detect the changes of cell cycle phase and cyclin D1 between cells infected and uninfected by recombinant adenovirus. The 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphennyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) colorimetric assay was used in the detection of the alteration of cell growth. RESULTS : The recombinant adenovirus had stable efficiency of infection and E7 genes could be expressed stably. The result of MTT showed the multiplication of HeLa cells was accelerated from 0.27 +/- 0.03 before infection to 0.38 +/- 0.02 after infection (P < 0.01). FCM showed the number of cells in S phase increased from (26.0 +/- 0.4)% to (36.0 +/- 2.0)% at 12 hours and (49.9 +/- 4.2)% at 24 hours after infection (P < 0.05). Cyclin D1 expression was 22.4% before infection, and decreased to 55.2% after infection (P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS : The recombinant adenovirus expressing E7 gene could infect target cells. E7 gene can influence cell-cycle of HeLa cells, which can be used to restrain cervical cancer.

Danna EA, Nolan GP (2006) Transcending the biomarker mindset : deciphering disease mechanisms at the single cell level. Curr Opin Chem Biol 10 :20-27


The application of proteomics to disease research promises to enhance the understanding and treatment of many human maladies through the identification of molecular profiles associated with each disease. However, although much is made of the utility of molecular signatures as markers of disease state, insufficient emphasis is often placed on the simultaneous need for biological mechanism inquiry. Focused and detailed analyses of disease-associated signaling networks have the potential to be more mechanistically informative than large-scale proteomic profiling approaches, providing insight into the cellular processes involved in pathogenesis, disease progression and therapeutic resistance ; while still providing diagnostic or clinical management direction. Phospho-specific flow cytometry provides a method for the analysis of pathological signaling networks, enabling the investigation of disease mechanisms at the single-cell level.

Das S, Brown TM, Kellar KL, Holloway BP, Morrison CJ (2006) DNA probes for the rapid identification of medically important Candida species using a multianalyte profiling system. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol 46 :244-250


Recently, a new flow cytometric technology to detect multiple DNA target sequences in a single microtiter well plate was developed [multianalyte profiling (MAP) System, Luminex Corp., Austin, TX]. DNA probes, directed to the internal transcribed spacer 2 region of ribosomal DNA, were therefore designed to detect and differentiate PCR amplicons from six medically important Candida species using this system. Each probe was covalently linked to one of 100 available microsphere (bead) sets. Biotinylated PCR amplicons were then hybridized to the complementary probe on each bead set. Bound amplicons were detected fluorometrically using a streptavidin-linked reporter dye, R-phycoerythrin. Specific hybridization was noted for all six Candida species probes (mean sample-to-background ratio+/-standard error : Candida albicans, 58.7+/-1.2 ; Candida tropicalis, 53.2+/-3.8 ; Candida glabrata, 46.9+/-2.1 ; Candida parapsilosis, 59.9+/-1.6 ; Candida krusei, 54.7+/-3.7 vs. 0.9+/-0.03 for all heterologous Candida species DNA targets and vs. 1.0+/-0.1 for samples containing water instead of DNA ; P < 0.001). The limit of test sensitivity was 0.5 pg of DNA. A sample could be processed and analyzed within 1 h post-PCR amplification. Therefore, the multianalyte profiling system was rapid, sensitive and specific for the detection and differentiation of the most medically important species of Candida.

Davy SK, Burchett SG, Dale AL, Davies P, Davy JE, Muncke C, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Wilson WH (2006) Viruses : agents of coral disease ? Dis Aquat Organ 69 :101-110


The potential role of viruses in coral disease has only recently begun to receive attention. Here we describe our attempts to determine whether viruses are present in thermally stressed corals Pavona danai, Acropora formosa and Stylophora pistillata and zoanthids Zoanthus sp., and their zooxanthellae. Heat-shocked P. danai, A. formosa and Zoanthus sp. all produced numerous virus-like particles (VLPs) that were evident in the animal tissue, zooxanthellae and the surrounding seawater ; VLPs were also seen around heat-shocked freshly isolated zooxanthellae (FIZ) from P. danai and S. pistillata. The most commonly seen VLPs were tail-less, hexagonal and about 40 to 50 nm in diameter, though a diverse range of other VLP morphotypes (e.g. rounded, rod-shaped, droplet-shaped, filamentous) were also present around corals. When VLPs around heat-shocked FIZ from S. pistillata were added to non-stressed FIZ from this coral, they resulted in cell lysis, suggesting that an infectious agent was present ; however, analysis with transmission electron microscopy provided no clear evidence of viral infection. The release of diverse VLPs was again apparent when flow cytometry was used to enumerate release by heat-stressed A. formosa nubbins. Our data support the infection of reef corals by viruses, though we cannot yet determine the precise origin (i.e. coral, zooxanthellae and/or surface microbes) of the VLPs seen. Furthermore, genome sequence data are required to establish the presence of viruses unequivocally.

De Nicola M, Gualandi G, Alfonsi A, Cerella C, D’Alessio M, Bergamaschi A, Magrini A, Ghibelli L (2006) Different fates of intracellular glutathione determine different modalities of apoptotic nuclear vesiculation. Biochem Pharmacol 72 :1405-1416


U937 monocytic cells show two main apoptotic nuclear morphologies, budding and cleavage, that are the result of two independent morphological routes, since they never interconvert one into the other, and are differently modulated by stressing or physiological apoptogenic agents [Exp Cell Res 1996 ; 223:340-347]. With the aim of understanding which biochemical alterations are at the basis of these alternative apoptotic morphologies, we performed an in situ analysis that showed that in U937 cells intracellular glutathione (GSH) is lost in cells undergoing apoptosis by cleavage, whereas it is maintained in apoptotic budding cells. Lymphoma cells BL41 lose GSH in apoptosis, and show the cleavage nuclear morphology ; the same cells latently infected with Epstein Barr Virus (E2r line) undergo apoptosis without GSH depletion and show the budding nuclear morphology. GSH depletion is not only concomitant to, but is the determinant of the cleavage route, since the inhibition of apoptotic GSH efflux with cystathionine or methionine shifts the apoptotic morphology from cleavage to budding. Accordingly, cystathionine or methionine antagonizes apoptosis in the all-cleavage BL41, without affecting the all-budding E2r.

de Witte L, Abt M, Schneider-Schaulies S, van Kooyk Y, Geijtenbeek TB (2006) Measles virus targets DC-SIGN to enhance dendritic cell infection. J Virol 80 :3477-3486


Dendritic cells (DCs) are involved in the pathogenesis of measles virus (MV) infection by inducing immune suppression and possibly spreading the virus from the respiratory tract to lymphatic tissues. It is becoming evident that DC function can be modulated by the involvement of different receptors in pathogen interaction. Therefore, we have investigated the relative contributions of different MV-specific receptors on DCs to MV uptake into and infection of these cells. DCs express the MV receptors CD46 and CD150, and we demonstrate that the C-type lectin DC-specific intercellular adhesion molecule 3-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN) is a novel receptor for laboratory-adapted and wild-type MV strains. The ligands for DC-SIGN are both MV glycoproteins F and H. In contrast to CD46 and CD150, DC-SIGN does not support MV entry, since DC-SIGN does not confer susceptibility when stably expressed in CHO cells. However, DC-SIGN is important for the infection of immature DCs with MV, since both attachment and infection of immature DCs with MV are blocked in the presence of DC-SIGN inhibitors. Our data demonstrate that DC-SIGN is crucial as an attachment receptor to enhance CD46/CD150-mediated infection of DCs in cis. Moreover, MV might not only target DC-SIGN to infect DCs but may also use DC-SIGN for viral transmission and immune suppression.

Diaz MR, Boekhout T, Theelen B, Bovers M, Cabanes FJ, Fell JW (2006) Microcoding and flow cytometry as a high-throughput fungal identification system for Malassezia species. J Med Microbiol 55 :1197-1209


Yeasts of the genus Malassezia have been associated with a variety of dermatological disorders in humans and domestic animals. With the recent recognition of new members of the genus, new questions are emerging with regard to the pathogenesis and epidemiology of the new species. As new species are recognized, a precise and comprehensive identification system is needed. Herein is described a bead suspension culture-based array that combines the specificity and reliability of nucleic acid hybridization analysis with the speed and sensitivity of the Luminex analyser. The developed 16-plex array consisted of species- and group-specific capture probes that acted as ’microcodes’ for species identification. The probes, which were designed from sequence analysis in the D1/D2 region of rRNA and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions, were covalently bound to unique sets of fluorescent beads. Upon hybridization, the biotinylated amplicon was detected by the addition of a fluorochrome coupled to a reporter molecule. The hybridized beads were subsequently analysed by flow cytometric techniques. The developed array, which allowed the detection of species in a multiplex and high-throughput format, was accurate and fast, since it allowed precise identification of species and required less than 1 h following PCR amplification. The described protocol, which can integrate uniplex or multiplex PCR reactions, permitted the simultaneous detection of target sequences in a single reaction, and allowed single mismatch discrimination between probe and non-target sequences. The assay has the capability to be expanded to include other medically important pathogenic species in a single or multiplex array format.

Dinoto A, Marques TM, Sakamoto K, Fukiya S, Watanabe J, Ito S, Yokota A (2006) Population dynamics of Bifidobacterium species in human feces during raffinose administration monitored by fluorescence in situ hybridization-flow cytometry. Appl Environ Microbiol 72 :7739-7747


The population dynamics of bifidobacteria in human feces during raffinose administration were investigated at the species level by using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) coupled with flow cytometry (FCM) analysis. Although double-staining FISH-FCM using both fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) and indodicarbocyanine (Cy5) as labeling dyes for fecal samples has been reported, the analysis was interfered with by strong autofluorescence at the FITC fluorescence region because of the presence of autofluorescence particles/debris in the fecal samples. We circumvented this problem by using only Cy5 fluorescent dye in the FISH-FCM analysis. Thirteen subjects received 2 g of raffinose twice a day for 4 weeks. Fecal samples were collected, and the bifidobacterial populations were monitored using the established FISH-FCM method. The results showed an increase in bifidobacteria from about 12.5% of total bacteria in the prefeeding period to about 28.7 and 37.2% after the 2-week and 4-week feeding periods, respectively. Bifidobacterium adolescentis, the Bifidobacterium catenulatum group, and Bifidobacterium longum were the major species, in that order, at the prefeeding period, and these bacteria were found to increase nearly in parallel during the raffinose administration. During the feeding periods, indigenous bifidobacterial populations became more diverse, such that minor species in human adults, such as Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium dentium, and Bifidobacterium angulatum, proliferated. Four weeks after raffinose administration was stopped, the proportion of each major bifidobacterial species, as well as that of total bifidobacteria, returned to approximately the original values for the prefeeding period, whereas that of each minor species appeared to differ considerably from its original value. To the best of our knowledge, these results provide the first clear demonstration of the population dynamics of indigenous bifidobacteria at the species level in response to raffinose administration.

Dorigo U, Fontvieille D, Humbert JF (2006) Spatial variability in the abundance and composition of the free-living bacterioplankton community in the pelagic zone of Lake Bourget (France). FEMS Microbiol Ecol 58 :109-119


Spatial variations in the abundance and diversity of the free-living bacterioplankton community of a large Alpine lake, Lake Bourget (France), were investigated in the pelagic zone by means of two two-dimensional samplings taken in 2003. Lake-water samples were collected in winter during water mixing, and in early summer during stratification. The population abundance in each sample was determined by flow cytometry. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene fragments from organisms measuring less than 2 mum was used to assess eubacterioplankton community composition. In winter, no obvious differences were observed in either the abundance or the diversity of the bacterial community, on either the horizontal or the vertical scales. The only influence detected was that of river water input, but this was at a very minor scale relative to the surface area of the lake. In early summer, changes were found in the community composition on the vertical scale related to the thermal stratification of the water column. There were also marked differences on the horizontal scale at 15 m depth due to internal waves. The implications of these findings for sampling strategies are very important from the perspective of comparative studies of free-living bacterial community diversity and functioning in large and deep lakes.

dos Santos AL, de Carvalho IM, da Silva BA, Portela MB, Alviano CS, de Araujo Soares RM (2006) Secretion of serine peptidase by a clinical strain of Candida albicans : influence of growth conditions and cleavage of human serum proteins and extracellular matrix components. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol 46 :209-220


Candida albicans expresses a vast number of hydrolytic enzymes, playing roles in several phases of yeast-host interactions. Here, we identified two novel extracellular peptidase classes in C. albicans. Using gelatin-sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis two gelatinolytic activities were detected at physiological pH : a 60-kDa metallopeptidase, completely blocked by 1,10-phenanthroline, and a 50-kDa serine peptidase inhibited by phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride. In an effort to establish a probable functional implication for these novel peptidase classes, we demonstrated that the 50-kDa secretory serine peptidase was active over a broad pH range (5.0-7.2) and was capable to hydrolyze some soluble human serum proteins and extracellular matrix components. Conversely, when this isolate was grown in yeast carbon base supplemented with bovine serum albumin, a secretory aspartyl peptidase activity was measured, instead of metallo- and serine peptidases, suggesting that distinct medium composition induces different expression of released peptidases in C. albicans. Additionally, we showed by quantitative proteolytic measurement, flow cytometry and immunoblotting assays that the brain heart infusion medium might repress the Sap1-3 production. Collectively, our results showed for the first time the capability of an extracellular proteolytic enzyme other than aspartic-type peptidases to cleave a broad spectrum of relevant host proteinaceous substrates by the human pathogen C. albicans.

Dreyer B, Morte A, Perez-Gilabert M, Honrubia M (2006) Autofluorescence detection of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal structures in palm roots : an underestimated experimental method. Mycol Res 110 :887-897


The aim of this study was to reassess the use of autofluorescence for evaluating AM colonization in mycorrhizal roots in the light of criticisms of this method that affirmed that only metabolically inactive arbuscules autofluoresce. It was also investigated whether other mycorrhizal structures, such as hyphae, vesicles and spores, could be detected by autofluorescence, and whether the autofluorescence pattern of AM fungal structures could be exploited methodologically, for example, in the detection and sorting of spores by flow cytometry. Mycorrhizal roots of the palm species Brahea armata, Chamaerops humilis, Phoenix canariensis and Phoenix dactylifera were sectioned and observed by means of fluorescence microscopy. In addition, fungal structures isolated from mycorrhizal roots of P. dactylifera were examined. The same root sections and isolated fungal structures were subjected to vital staining with nitro blue tetrazolium to determine their metabolic state (active or inactive). Moreover, spores of Glomus intraradices, and Glomus clarum were studied by epifluorescence and flow cytometry. Mycorrhizal whole roots of Medicago sativa were also assessed by autofluorescence detection. In contrast to previous reports, the results presented in this paper clearly demonstrate that all fungal structures, both intra- and extraradical, autofluoresced under blue light excitation, regardless of their state (dead or alive). Some arbuscules isolated from roots and mature spores showed further autofluorescence under green light excitation. The source of the autofluorescence was localized in the fungal cell wall. It was shown that AM spores can be detected by flow cytometry. The results support the use of autofluorescence for the evaluation of AM colonization, at least in palm species, and refute previous criticisms of the method.

Duhamel S, Jacquet S (2006) Flow cytometric analysis of bacteria- and virus-like particles in lake sediments. J Microbiol Methods 64 :316-332


Flow cytometry (FCM) was successfully used to analyze freshwater bacteria and viruses in lake sediments after relatively simple sample treatment and optimization of dilution/fixation/staining procedures. Biological particles from Lakes Geneva and Bourget were first separated from the sediments by using both Sodium Pyrophosphate (0.01 M final concentration) and Polyoxyethylene-Sorbitan Monooleate (10% final concentration) and sonicating for 3 min in a water bath. The best results (based on FCM signature and the highest virus and bacterial yields from the sediments) were obtained by formaldehyde fixation carried out within less than one hour (2% final concentration, vs. no fixation or using glutaraldehyde at different concentrations), SYBR-Green II staining (x1/20,000 stock solution concentration, vs. use of SYBR-Gold and SYBR-Green I dyes at different concentrations). There was a considerable loss of particles after only a few days of storage at either 4 or -22 degrees C. For FCM analysis, the samples were diluted in Tris-EDTA buffer (pH 8) and heated for 10 min at 75 degrees C after incubating for 5 min in the dark. The bacterial and viral counts paralleled those obtained using epifluorescence microscopy (EFM), but EFM always gave lower counts than FCM. Analysis of the distribution of the viruses in the water column and in the sediments of Lakes Bourget revealed a marked gradient, with larger quantities in the top layer of the sediment than in the water above it. These results are discussed, as well as the possible novel application of flow cytometry in the study of aquatic viral ecology.

Evans R, Davidson MM, Sim LR, Hay AJ (2006) Testing by Sysmex UF-100 flow cytometer and with bacterial culture in a diagnostic laboratory : a comparison. J Clin Pathol 59 :661-662


A large proportion of the samples tested in routine diagnostic microbiology laboratory are urine samples. The gold standard is bacterial culture, but a high proportion of samples cultured are negative. Unnecessary testing can be reduced and an improved service provided by an effective screening test. The Sysmex UF-100 flow cytometer has been developed to count cells and casts accurately in urine samples. Its performance in a screening test was compared with bacterial culture by using 1005 consecutive urine samples, and cut-off criteria were established. Cut-off values of 3000 bacteria/microl and 111 WBC/microl provided the best discrimination. Of 1005 samples, 606 (60%) would be cultured. Sixteen samples that were not selected according to these criteria were culture positive. This was considered acceptable for our routine use. The use of a testing algorithm incorporating the Sysmex UF-100 flow cytometer has improved the quality and efficiency of urine testing within the routine microbiology laboratory.

Falcioni T, Manti A, Boi P, Canonico B, Balsamo M, Papa S (2006) Comparison of disruption procedures for enumeration of activated sludge floc bacteria by flow cytometry. Cytometry B Clin Cytom 70 :149-153


BACKGROUND : In a wastewater treatment plant, the degradation process is performed by a variable and mixed community of microorganisms in an aerobic aquatic environment. The activated-sludge process is based on the formation of strong microbial flocs where many bacteria are attached to sludge flocs. METHODS : Cytometric analysis requires an homogeneous cell suspension and so detachment of bacteria from flocs is required. In this study, sonication and homogenization were compared to find the most adequate pretreatment method for bacterial cytometric analysis in activated sludge samples. Bacterial viability was tested with a nucleic acid double-staining (NADS) protocol (Barbesti et al., Cytometry 2000 ;40:214-218) and on flow cytometry. RESULTS : Each method showed a good efficiency in terms of bacterial detachment ; thus finally, the choice of which could be the best treatment method was based on both viability results and analysis rapidity. On the basis of the degree of cell detachment and viability, the maximum value was obtained by sonication (2 x 45’’). CONCLUSIONS : The use of flow cytometry in conjunction with fluorescent dyes and an adequate pretreatment represents a useful method to rapidly detect and enumerate bacteria in activated sludge samples.

Fallani M, Rigottier-Gois L, Aguilera M, Bridonneau C, Collignon A, Edwards CA, Corthier G, Dore J (2006) Clostridium difficile and Clostridium perfringens species detected in infant faecal microbiota using 16S rRNA targeted probes. J Microbiol Methods 67 :150-161


Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium difficile are pathogenic clostridia potentially associated with gastrointestinal infections and allergy in infants. To enable the molecular detection and quantification of these species in the infant gut, two 16S rRNA oligonucleotide probes were developed : Cdif198 for C. difficile and Cperf191 for C. perfringens. We defined the probes in silico using the RDP sequence database. The probes were then validated using FISH combined with flow cytometry and a collection of target and non-target strains, and faecal samples inoculated with dilutions of C. difficile and C. perfringens strains. These new probes were used to assess the composition of the intestinal microbiota of 33 infants of 1.5 to 18.5 months of age, associated with a panel of 8 probes targeting the predominant faecal bacterial groups of humans. The probes designed allowed detection and quantification of the relative proportions of C. difficile (0.5+/-1.0%) and C. perfringens (2.1+/-2.3%) in the microbiota of infants.

Fecek RJ, Busch R, Lin H, Pal K, Cunningham CA, Cuff CF (2006) Production of Alexa Fluor 488-labeled reovirus and characterization of target cell binding, competence, and immunogenicity of labeled virions. J Immunol Methods 314 :30-37


Respiratory enteric orphan virus (reovirus) has been used to study many aspects of the biology and genetics of viruses, viral infection, pathogenesis, and the immune response to virus infection. This report describes the functional activity of virus labeled with Alexa Fluor 488, a stable fluorescent dye. Matrix assisted laser desorption-time of flight analysis indicated that Alexa Fluor 488 labeled the outer capsid proteins of reovirus. Labeled virus bound to murine L929 fibroblasts as determined by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy, and the specificity of binding were demonstrated by competitive inhibition with non-labeled virus. Labeled reovirus induced apoptosis and cytopathic effect in infected L929 cells. Mice infected with labeled virus mounted robust serum antibody and CD8(+) T-cell responses, indicating that labeled virus retained immunogenicity in vivo. These results indicate that Alexa Fluor 488-labeled virus provides a powerful new tool to analyze reovirus infection in vitro and in vivo.

Fredricks BA, DeCoster DJ, Kim Y, Sparks N, Callister SM, Schell RF (2006) Rapid pyrazinamide susceptibility testing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by flow cytometry. J Microbiol Methods 67 :266-272


The resurgence of tuberculosis along with the increased resistance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis has emphasized the need for timely susceptibility testing for control of the disease. Previous studies have shown that rapid susceptibility testing can be accomplished for isoniazid, ethambutol, and rifampin using the flow cytometric assays. In this study we compared the flow cytometric susceptibility assay with the BACTEC TB 460 and BACTEC MGIT 960 for pyrazinamide (PZA). There was 93% agreement between the BACTEC MGIT 960 and the flow cytometric methods for 100 microg/mL of PZA. Additionally, there was a 95% and 86% agreement between the BACTEC TB 460 and flow cytometric methods for 50 microg/mL and 100 microg/mL of PZA, respectively. These findings show that susceptibility testing by the flow cytometric assay is accurate. Most importantly, susceptibility results by the flow cytometric assay were available 24 h after initiation of the testing procedure. The advantages of simplicity, speed and accuracy make the flow cytometric susceptibility assay an immediate impact technology to improve patient care.

Freistadt MS, Eberle KE (2006) Fluorescent poliovirus for flow cytometric cell surface binding studies. J Virol Methods 134 :1-7


Specific cell-surface binding is the essential first step for cellular invasion by viruses. To understand this process, various methods to evaluate binding properties of viruses to cells have been developed. However, many rely on radioactive labeling or indirect immunofluorescence. The development of a novel fluorescence binding assay for poliovirus is described. Poliovirus (type 1 Mahoney or Sabin) was labeled directly with fluorescein using a commercially available fluoresceination kit. Fluorescently labeled poliovirus was bound to its specific receptor on Hela or U937 cells and detected by flow cytometric analysis. Specific binding and infectivity was retained, although reduced, depending on the extent of fluoresceination. Therefore, depending on the users’ requirements, the extent of fluoresceination must be titrated carefully to achieve maximal fluorescence and minimal functional destruction. It is likely that this method may be useful with other viruses.

Fukui A, Ntrivalas E, Gilman-Sachs A, Kwak-Kim J, Lee SK, Levine R, Beaman K (2006) Expression of natural cytotoxicity receptors and a2V-ATPase on peripheral blood NK cell subsets in women with recurrent spontaneous abortions and implantation failures. Am J Reprod Immunol 56 :312-320


PROBLEM : Natural cytotoxicity receptors (NCRs) are unique markers, which regulate NK cell cytotoxicity and cytokine production. a2V-ATPase is expressed on subsets of PBMC and regulates the extracellular environment, which facilitates NK cytotoxicity or cytokine secretion. In this study, we aim to investigate the expression of NCRs and a2V-ATPase in peripheral blood NK cells of women with recurrent spontaneous abortions (RSA) or implantation failures. METHOD OF STUDY : Peripheral blood NK cells (CD56(dim) and CD56(bright) were analyzed for the expression of NCRs (NKp46, NKp44 and NKp30) and a2V-ATPase using 3-color flow cytometry in women with RSA (n=24), implantation failures (n=19) or normal healthy women (n=13). RESULTS : CD56+/NKp46+ cells were markedly decreased (P<0.05) and CD56(bright)/a2V-ATPase+ cells were significantly increased (P<0.05) in women with RSA as compared to those of normal controls. In women with RSA or implantation failures, expression of NKp46, NKp44, NKp30, and a2V-ATPase on CD56(bright) NK cells was significantly up-regulated as compared with those of CD56(dim) NK cells. CONCLUSION : The differential expression of NCRs and a2V-ATPase in NK cell subsets may suggest dysregulation of NK cytotoxicity and cytokine production in women with RSA and implantation failures.

Gall K, Barker LP (2006) Differential green fluorescent protein expression from mycobacterial promoter constructs in Escherichia coli and Mycobacterium marinum. FEMS Microbiol Lett 255 :301-307


The Mycobacterium marinum G13 promoter is a sigma 70-like promoter that is more active by green fluorescent protein (gfp) differential fluorescence induction (DFI) assays when M. marium resides in an intracellular compartment as compared with growth in media. In assays using DFI, we found that the mycobacterial G13 promoter was also more active in a background of lower nutrient availability during logarithmic growth. This promoter, contained in an insert cloned upstream of a gfp reporter gene, is also active in Escherichia coli. When gfp expression assays of different plasmid constructs were performed in parallel with E. coli and M. marinum, expression in E. coli was maintained after deletion of both upstream and/or downstream regions proximal to the core promoter sequence. In M. marinum, however, although upstream deletions had no appreciable effect on gfp expression, promoter constructs with deleted downstream regions expressed 20- to 40-fold less gfp over all growth phases. The high-level expression of gfp was restored, however, in a clone containing approximately 100 bp downstream of the transcriptional start point. We have therefore utilized this gfp reporter assay of promoter activity to distinguish possible differences in requirements for gfp expression between different genera that utilize sigma 70-like promoter elements. We found that high levels of expression of gfp from the G13 promoter in M. marinum require downstream regions not necessary for gfp expression in E. coli.

Gerdts G, Luedke G (2006) FISH and chips : marine bacterial communities analyzed by flow cytometry based on microfluidics. J Microbiol Methods 64 :232-240


To unveil the structure of natural marine pelagic bacterial communities, PCR-based techniques as well as fluorescence in situ hybridizations (FISH) were successfully performed in the past. Using fluorescence microscopes or confocal laser scanning microscopes (CLSM) for the analysis of FISH experiments, it was possible to differentiate bacterial communities, but most attempts to combine flow cytometry and FISH for this purpose have failed till now. Here we present a successful analysis of FISH experiments of natural marine pelagic bacterial communities using a flow cytometer based on microfluidics (Agilent 2100 bioanalyzer). Marine water samples were enriched on polycarbonate filters and hybridized with Cy5 labeled gene probes of different phylogenetic depth. Bacteria were detached from the filters and subsequently analyzed in the Cell Chip of the Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer. Samples were counter-stained using SYTOX. In all samples the EUB338 positive signals could be clearly differentiated from those of the NON probe. Furthermore a dominance of alpha-protebacteria (as indicated by the probes ALF968 and G rB) could be observed. Microfluidics based flow cytometry is a promising technique for the analysis of natural bacterial communities from the marine environment.

Goldschmidt MC (2006) The use of biosensor and microarray techniques in the rapid detection and identification of salmonellae. J AOAC Int 89 :530-537


The ever-present need for rapid and sensitive assay methods to detect foodborne pathogens, particularly the salmonellae, has led to increased incorporation of biosensor technology into microarray and other platforms. The use of mimetics and aptamers has been added to these procedures. Nanoparticles, particularly incorporating fluorophores and quantum dots into various procedures, have decreased the size of instrumentation while increasing automation, sensitivity, and rapidity of results. This article will deal mainly with assays involving the salmonellae.

Guther ML, Lee S, Tetley L, Acosta-Serrano A, Ferguson MA (2006) GPI-anchored proteins and free GPI glycolipids of procyclic form Trypanosoma brucei are nonessential for growth, are required for colonization of the tsetse fly, and are not the only components of the surface coat. Mol Biol Cell 17 :5265-5274


The procyclic form of Trypanosoma brucei exists in the midgut of the tsetse fly. The current model of its surface glycocalyx is an array of rod-like procyclin glycoproteins with glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchors carrying sialylated poly-N-acetyllactosamine side chains interspersed with smaller sialylated poly-N-acetyllactosamine-containing free GPI glycolipids. Mutants for TbGPI12, deficient in the second step of GPI biosynthesis, were devoid of cell surface procyclins and poly-N-acetyllactosamine-containing free GPI glycolipids. This major disruption to their surface architecture severely impaired their ability to colonize tsetse fly midguts but, surprisingly, had no effect on their morphology and growth characteristics in vitro. Transmission electron microscopy showed that the mutants retained a cell surface glycocalyx. This structure, and the viability of the mutants in vitro, prompted us to look for non-GPI-anchored parasite molecules and/or the adsorption of serum components. Neither were apparent from cell surface biotinylation experiments but [3H]glucosamine biosynthetic labeling revealed a group of previously unidentified high apparent molecular weight glycoconjugates that might contribute to the surface coat. While characterizing GlcNAc-PI that accumulates in the TbGPI12 mutant, we observed inositolphosphoceramides for the first time in this organism.

Hale MB, Nolan GP (2006) Phospho-specific flow cytometry : intersection of immunology and biochemistry at the single-cell level. Curr Opin Mol Ther 8 :215-224


Striving to achieve greater clinical relevance, researchers in basic science and in drug discovery are transitioning from biochemical investigations using cell lines to technologies that garner mechanistic information from primary patient material. Such studies can be broad in scope, despite limited sample material and cell-type heterogeneity. The development of flow cytometry for following intracellular signaling has met some of these demands and opened new avenues for mechanistic exploration. This review covers some of the most recent research to leverage this new technology and follows two new developments : increasing interest in JAK/STAT signaling, and experimental strategies that reveal disease-induced modulation of signaling networks.

Hammoumi S, Cruciere C, Guy M, Boutrouille A, Messiaen S, Lecollinet S, Bakkali-Kassimi L (2006) Characterization of a recombinant encephalomyocarditis virus expressing the enhanced green fluorescent protein. Arch Virol 151 :1783-1796


A recombinant encephalomyocarditis virus (rEMCV2887A-egfp) expressing the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) was produced. The EGFP gene was inserted in frame within the leader protein coding sequence of a full-length cDNA clone of EMCV. RNA transcripts derived from the recombinant full-length cDNA were synthesized in vitro and transfected into BHK-21 cells. The recombinant transcript RNA remained infectious despite the insertion of EGFP as shown by cytopathic effects on BHK-21 cells and by propagation of the rescued virus. The replication kinetics in BHK-21 cells and the pathogenicity in mice of rEMCV2887A-egfp did not differ significantly from that of the parental virus. The recombinant virus was shown to produce fluorescence in infected cells after at least five passages in BHK-21 cells. However, a decrease of EGFP expression was observed following serial passages, and this was associated with the accumulation of deletion mutations within the EGFP gene. Nevertheless, using EGFP autofluorescence, infected cells were easily detected in the brain of mice infected with the first-passage recombinant virus. These data demonstrate that rEMCV2887A-egfp could be a useful tool to study virus dissemination and pathogenicity when used at low passages.

Hashimoto S, Aritomi K, Minohara T, Nishizawa Y, Hoshida H, Kashiwagi S, Akada R (2006) Direct mating between diploid sake strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 69 :689-696


Various auxotrophic mutants of diploid heterothallic Japanese sake strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae were utilized for selecting mating-competent diploid isolates. The auxotrophic mutants were exposed to ultraviolet (UV) irradiation and crossed with laboratory haploid tester strains carrying complementary auxotrophic markers. Zygotes were then selected on minimal medium. Sake strains exhibiting a MATa or MATalpha mating type were easily obtained at high frequency without prior sporulation, suggesting that the UV irradiation induced homozygosity at the MAT locus. Flow cytometric analysis of a hybrid showed a twofold higher DNA content than the sake diploid parent, consistent with tetraploidy. By crossing strains of opposite mating type in all possible combinations, a number of hybrids were constructed. Hybrids formed in crosses between traditional sake strains and between a natural nonhaploid isolate and traditional sake strains displayed equivalent fermentation ability without any apparent defects and produced comparable or improved sake. Isolation of mating-competent auxotrophic mutants directly from industrial yeast strains allows crossbreeding to construct polyploids suitable for industrial use without dependence on sporulation.

Haugwitz U, Bobkiewicz W, Han SR, Beckmann E, Veerachato G, Shaid S, Biehl S, Dersch K, Bhakdi S, Husmann M (2006) Pore-forming Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin triggers epidermal growth factor receptor-dependent proliferation. Cell Microbiol 8 :1591-1600


Staphylococcal alpha-toxin is an archetypal killer protein that homo-oligomerizes in target cells to create small transmembrane pores. The membrane-perforating beta-barrel motif is a conserved attack element of cytolysins of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Following the recognition that nucleated cells can survive membrane permeabilization, a profile of abundant transcripts was obtained in transiently perforated keratinocytes. Several immediate early genes were found to be upregulated, reminiscent of the cellular response to growth factors. Cell cycle analyses revealed doubling of S + G2/M phase cells 26 h post toxin treatment. Determination of cell counts uncovered that after an initial drop, numbers increased to exceed the controls after 2 days. A non-lytic alpha-toxin mutant remained without effect. The alpha-toxin pore is too small to allow egress of cytosolic growth factors, and evidence was instead obtained for growth signalling via the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Inhibition of the EGFR or of EGFR-proligand-processing blocked the mitogenic effect of alpha-toxin. Western blots with phospho-specific antibodies revealed activation of the EGFR, and of the adapter protein Shc. Immediate early response and proliferation upon transient plasma membrane pore formation by bacterial toxins may represent a novel facet of the complex interaction between pathogen and host.

Herdman MT, Pett MR, Roberts I, Alazawi WO, Teschendorff AE, Zhang XY, Stanley MA, Coleman N (2006) Interferon-beta treatment of cervical keratinocytes naturally infected with human papillomavirus 16 episomes promotes rapid reduction in episome numbers and emergence of latent integrants. Carcinogenesis 27 :2341-2353


Following integration of human papillomavirus (HPV) into the host genome, overexpression of the viral oncogenes E6 and E7 requires loss of the transcriptional repressor functions of E2. A key step in HPV-related carcinogenesis is therefore clearance of residual viral episomes, which encode E2. As spontaneous loss of HPV-16 episomes in vitro is associated with increased expression of antiviral genes inducible by type I interferon (IFN), we used the W12 model to examine the effects of exogenous IFN-beta on cervical keratinocytes containing HPV-16 episomes as a result of ’natural’ infection in vivo. In contrast to studies of cells transfected with HPV-31 or bovine papillomavirus, IFN-beta caused rapid reduction in numbers of HPV-16 episomes. This was associated with the emergence of cells bearing previously latent integrants, in which there was increased expression of E6 and E7. Our data indicate that integrated HPV-16 can exist in a minority of cells in a mixed population without exerting a selective advantage until episome numbers are reduced. The kinetics of cell death and changes in viral transcription and translation that we observed support a model where integrants are initially present in cells also containing episomes, with generalized episome clearance by IFN-beta resulting in integrant de-repression. We conclude that IFN-beta can hasten the transition from episomal to integrated HPV-16 in naturally infected cervical keratinocytes. Greater emphasis should be placed on episome loss in models of HPV-related carcinogenesis. We provide the strongest evidence to date that treating HPV-16 lesions by inducing an IFN response may cause clinical progression.

Herrero M, Quiros C, Garcia LA, Diaz M (2006) Use of flow cytometry to follow the physiological states of microorganisms in cider fermentation processes. Appl Environ Microbiol 72 :6725-6733


The flow cytometry (FC) technique used with certain fluorescent dyes (ChemChrome V6 [CV6], DRAQ5, and PI) has proven useful to label and to detect different physiological states of yeast and malolactic bacterium starters conducting cider fermentation over time (by performing sequential inoculation of microorganisms). First, the technique was tested with pure cultures of both types of microorganisms grown in synthetic media under different induced stress conditions. Metabolically active cells detected by FC and by the standard plate-counting method for both types of microorganisms in fresh overnight pure cultures gave good correlations between the two techniques in samples taken at this stage. Otherwise, combining the results obtained by FC and plating during alcoholic and malolactic fermentation over time in the cider-making process, different subpopulations were detected, showing significant differences between the methods. A small number of studies have applied the FC technique to analyze fermentation processes and mixed cultures over time. The results were used to postulate equations explaining the different physiological states in cell populations taken from fresh, pure overnight cultures under nonstress conditions or cells subjected to stress conditions over time, either under a pure-culture fermentation process (in this work, corresponding to alcoholic fermentation) or under mixed-fermentation conditions (for the malolactic-fermentation phase), that could be useful to improve the control of the processes.

Hollmer C, Essmann M, Ault K, Larsen B (2006) Adherence and blocking of Candida albicans to cultured vaginal epithelial cells : treatments to decrease adherence. Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol 2006 :98218


BACKGROUND : Pathogenesis of mucosal microorganisms depends on adherence to the tissues they colonize and infect. For Candida albicans, cell surface hydrophobicity may play a significant role in tissue binding ability. METHODS : A continuous cell line of vaginal epithelial cells (VEC) was grown in keratinocyte serum-free medium (KSFM) with supplements and harvested by trypsinization. VEC were combined with yeast cells to evaluate adherence and inhibition of adherence. In this experimental setup, yeast stained with fluorescein isothiocyanate were allowed to attach to VEC and the resulting fluorescent VEC were detected by flow cytometry. RESULTS : VEC were cultured and examined daily after plating and showed morphology similar to basal epithelial cells. Culture media supplemented with estradiol showed increased VEC proliferation initially (first 24 h) but cell morphology was not altered. Fluorescinated Candida cells bound effectively to the cultured VEC. Using fresh cells exposed to various preparations of K-Y, we showed that all formulations of the product reduced Candida binding to VEC by 25% to 50%. While VEC were generally harvested for use in experiments when they were near confluent growth, we allowed some cultures to grow beyond that point and discovered that cells allowed to become overgrown or stressed appeared to bind yeast cells more effectively. CONCLUSION : Flow cytometry is a useful method for evaluating binding of stained yeast cells to cultured VEC and has demonstrated that commercially available products have the ability to interfere with the process of yeast adherence to epithelial cells.

Hoppe S, Schelhaas M, Jaeger V, Liebig T, Petermann P, Knebel-Morsdorf D (2006) Early herpes simplex virus type 1 infection is dependent on regulated Rac1/Cdc42 signalling in epithelial MDCKII cells. J Gen Virol 87 :3483-3494


The aim of this study was to understand how molecular determinants of epithelial cells influence initial infection by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Upon infection of the epithelial MDCKII cell line, enhanced association of virus particles with cells forming actin protrusions was observed, suggesting a putative role of actin dynamics in HSV-1 infection. Thus, the impact of the small Rho-like GTPases Rac1, Cdc42 and RhoA acting as key regulators of actin dynamics was addressed. Endogenous Rac1 and Cdc42 were temporarily activated at 15 and 30 min after HSV-1 infection. When constitutively active Cdc42 or Rac1 mutants were expressed transiently, a significant decrease in infectivity was observed, whereas expression of RhoA mutants had no influence. Furthermore, dominant-negative Cdc42 led to decreased infectivity, whereas dominant-negative Rac1 had no effect. So far, the study of potential effectors indicated that Rac1/Cdc42 mutants inhibited infectivity independently of p21-activated kinase (Pak1). The inhibitory effect of Rac1/Cdc42 mutant expression on HSV-1 infection was characterized further and it was found that binding, internalization and transport of HSV-1 were not affected by expression of Rac1/Cdc42 mutants. Thus, these results provide the first evidence for a role of Rac1/Cdc42 signalling during early HSV-1 infection and suggest a mechanism relying on virus-induced regulation of Rac1/Cdc42 activities.

Hsiao A, Liu Z, Joelsson A, Zhu J (2006) Vibrio cholerae virulence regulator-coordinated evasion of host immunity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 103 :14542-14547


To successfully propagate and cause disease, pathogenic bacteria must modulate their transcriptional activities in response to pressures exerted by the host immune system, including secreted immunoglobulins such as secretory IgA (S-IgA), which can bind and agglutinate bacteria. Here, we present a previously undescribed flow cytometry-based screening method to identify bacterial genes expressed in vitro and repressed during infections of Vibrio cholerae, an aquatic Gram-negative bacterium responsible for the severe diarrheal disease cholera. We identified a type IV mannose-sensitive hemagglutinin (MSHA) pilus that is repressed specifically in vivo. We showed that bacteria that failed to turn off MSHA biosynthesis were unable to colonize the intestines of infant mice in the presence of S-IgA. We also found that V. cholerae bound S-IgA in an MSHA-dependent and mannose-sensitive fashion and that binding of S-IgA prevented bacteria from penetrating mucus barriers and attaching to the surface of epithelial cells. The ability of V. cholerae to evade the non-antigen-specific binding of S-IgA by down-regulating a surface adhesin represents a previously undescribed mechanism of immune evasion in pathogenic bacteria. In addition, we found that repression of MSHA was mediated by the key virulence transcription factor ToxT, indicating that V. cholerae is able to coordinate both virulence gene activation and repression to evade host defenses and successfully colonize intestines.

Hwang MG, Katayama H, Ohgaki S (2006) Accumulation of copper and silver onto cell body and its effect on the inactivation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Water Sci Technol 54 :29-34


Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a gram-negative rod bacterium, is a causative agent of waterborne pneumonia and presents high tolerance against conventional disinfectants. The inorganic biocidal reagents, copper and silver, were applied to inactivate P. aeruginosa inoculated in a synthetic drinking water (SDW). Additionally, the relationship of the specific amount of accumulated copper and silver reagents (Cs) on P. aeruginosa with inactivation profile was elucidated in this study. Flow cytometry (FCM) following staining with SYTO 9 and PI was used for detection of bacterial viability and density. Individual copper and silver reagents, and their combination, exhibited excellent biocidal abilities even at the concentration of 0.05 mgCu/L and 0.005 mgAg/L. The critical amounts of accumulated disinfectant (Cs) were calculated at 2.82 x 10(-7) microgCu/cells and 5.13 x 10(-8) microgAg/cells ; at an incubation of 70 h. Consequently, the role of disinfectant on the inactivation of P. aeruginosa and the assessment of biocidal ability of copper, silver, and their combination were successfully explained by evaluating the terms Cs and Cc.

Hwang MG, Katayama H, Ohgaki S (2006) Effect of intracellular resuscitation of Legionella pneumophila in Acanthamoeba polyphage cells on the antimicrobial properties of silver and copper. Environ Sci Technol 40 :7434-7439


The property of Legionella pneumophila entering into a viable but noncultivable (VBNC) state under drinking water conditions (50 mL, pH 7.0, and 25 degrees C) and the intracellular resuscitation in Acanthamoeba polyphage cells were investigated. Then, the survival profiles of L. pneumophila residing in the planktonic phase and the endosymbiosis phase against antimicrobial silver and copper reagents were differentially compared with the case of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The number of L. pneumophila in a cultivable state was rapidly reduced to below the detection limit (5.0 log reduction) within 30 days of incubation in synthetic drinking water, while the number of L. pneumophila in a viable state varied in only 0.1 log reduction during the same period, and the levels were sustained constantly for 190 days ; in contrast, P. aeruginosa multiplied even in drinking water and continuously maintained its cultivability and viabilityfor 190 days. Distinctively, the numbers of E. coli in both cultivable and viable states were simultaneously diminished as 3.0 log and 1.6 log reduction. The cultivability of L. pneumophila in the VBNC state was recovered and started to multiply after coincubation with A. polyphage in the same environment (initial population of inoculated amoeba was adjusted as 1.0 x 10(5) amoeba/ mL), and P. aeruginosa also multiplied in amoeba cells. Finally, the populations of L. pneumophila in the planktonic phase after 10 days coincubation were detected at 1.7 x 10(7) CFU/mL, and this population was considered to have originated from the release of bacteria residing inside amoeba caused by the destruction of amoeba cells. Bacteria in the planktonic phase that were exposed to silver and copper were completely inactivated (more than 7 log reduction) within 30 min, while bacteria in the endosymbiosis phase showed much higher resistance against the exposure to the same concentrations of silver and copper. L. pneumophila and P. aeruginosa in A. polyphage cells survived to levels of 5.6 x 10(1) and 1.1 x 10(1) CFU/mL at the silver exposure (0.1 mgAg/L) and 7.3 x 10(3) and 6.1 x 10(4) CFU/ mL at the copper exposure (1.0 mgCu/L), respectively, after 7 days.

Intasai N, Mai S, Kasinrerk W, Tayapiwatana C (2006) Binding of multivalent CD147 phage induces apoptosis of U937 cells. Int Immunol 18 :1159-1169


CD147 is a broadly expressed cell-surface molecule and serves as a signaling receptor for extracellular cyclophilins. CD147 also appears to interact with immune cells, but its counter-receptor on these cells has not been clearly described. In the present report, we displayed multiple copies of the CD147 extracellular domain (CD147Ex) on VCSM13 phage to study the interaction of CD147 with its ligand. Recognition of phage containing fusion protein of CD147Ex and gpVIII (CD147Ex phage) by four different anti-CD147 mAbs indicated that at least parts of the CD147 are properly folded. Specific binding of CD147Ex phage to various cell types was demonstrated by flow cytometry. Morphological changes, however, were observed only in U937, a monocytic cell line, after 24 h incubation with multivalent CD147Ex phage. After 48 h, U937 cell propagation ceased. Staining with annexin V and the presence of cleaved caspase-3 indicated that many of the CD147Ex phage-treated cells had lost viability through apoptotic cell death. The above results suggest that CD147 induces apoptosis in U973 cells and that at least a portion of this cell death program involves a caspase-dependent pathway.

Jahic M, Knoblechner J, Charoenrat T, Enfors SO, Veide A (2006) Interfacing Pichia pastoris cultivation with expanded bed adsorption. Biotechnol Bioeng 93 :1040-1049


For improved interfacing of the Pichia pastoris fed-batch cultivation process with expanded bed adsorption (EBA) technique, a modified cultivation technique was developed. The modification included the reduction of the medium salt concentration, which was then kept constant by regulating the medium conductivity at low value (about 8 mS/cm) by salt feeding. Before loading, the low conductivity culture broth was diluted only to reduce viscosity, caused by high cell density. The concept was applied to a one-step recovery and purification procedure for a fusion protein composed of a cellulose-binding module (CBM) from Neocallimastix patriciarum cellulase 6A fused to lipase B from Candida antarctica (CALB). The modified cultivation technique resulted in lower cell death and consequently lower concentration of proteases and other contaminating proteins in the culture broth. Flow cytometry analysis showed 1% dead (propidium-stained) cells compared to 3.5% in the reference process. During the whole process of cultivation and recovery, no proteolysis was detected and in the end of the cultivation, the product constituted 87% of the total supernatant protein. The lipase activity in the culture supernatant increased at an almost constant rate up to a value corresponding to 2.2 g/L of CBM-CALB. In the EBA process, no cell-adsorbent interaction was detected but the cell density had to be reduced by a two-times dilution to keep a proper bed expansion. At flow velocity of 400 cm/h, the breakthrough capacity was 12.4 g/L, the product yield 98%, the concentration factor 3.6 times, the purity about 90%, and the productivity 2.1 g/L x h.

Janakiraman V, Forrest WF, Chow B, Seshagiri S (2006) A rapid method for estimation of baculovirus titer based on viable cell size. J Virol Methods 132 :48-58


Baculovirus protein expression system is a powerful tool for producing recombinant proteins. To optimize conditions for efficient recombinant protein expression, it is important to determine titer of virus stock for arriving at an optimal multiplicity of infection (MOI) that maximizes recombinant protein expression. Traditionally plaque assays have been used for titer determination. Other methods such as endpoint dilution, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and flow cytometry have been developed to aid the determination of virus titers. However, most of these methods are time-consuming and labor intensive. In this regard, a simple and rapid method for determination of virus titers based on the cytopathic effects that lead to viable cell size increase following virus infection is presented in this paper. In this study, the Vi-CELL (Beckman Coulter) was used to measure cell-diameter over a range of virus dilutions, following infection. Applying statistical modeling techniques, the viable cell-diameter data was used to estimate the virus titer. The results indicated that the viable cell-diameter based titer estimation to be reliable and comparable to titers determined by the traditional plaque assay.

Janakiraman V, Forrest WF, Seshagiri S (2006) Estimation of baculovirus titer based on viable cell size. Nat Protoc 1 :2271-2276


In this paper, a simple and rapid protocol for determination of baculovirus titers based on increasing viable insect cell size/diameter following virus infection is presented. There are different methods available for determining virus titers such as plaque assays end-point dilution, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and flow cytometry. However, most of these methods are time consuming and labor intensive. The titer estimation method presented here can be completed in approximately 28 h from start to finish. In this method, the Vi-CELL (Beckman Coulter) was used to measure cell diameter change over a range of virus dilutions, following infection. The cell diameter change data were used to compute the virus titer using a statistical method called the method of moments that we have described previously.

Jankowska-Steifer E, Jozwiak J, Grzela T, Komar A, Niderla J, Lazarczyk M, Korczak-Kowalska G, Moskalewski S, Martirosian G (2006) Vacuolization of HeLa cells by a partially purified Clostridium histolyticum cytotoxin. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol 46 :360-366


Clostridium histolyticum vacuolating cytotoxin was partially purified from culture broth using ammonium sulfate precipitation, gel filtration and hydrophobic interaction chromatography. The toxin caused vacuolization of HeLa cells visible under a light microscope after 2 h and distinct after 8 h. Transmission electron microscopy revealed the presence of numerous vacuoles, condensation of the mitochondrial matrix, increased cytoplasm density and increased amounts of heterochromatin. Apoptosis was not detected either by electron microscopy or by an apoptosis/necrosis discrimination assay with fluorescein-labeled annexin V and propidium iodide, or DNA fragmentation assay. Calcium ion influx was detected by flow cytometry after labeling cells with Fluo-4 AM. Vacuolation of HeLa cells by C. histolyticum cytotoxin was inhibited by bafilomycin A1, suggesting involvement of H+ -ATPase in the formation of vacuoles.

Jeffers SA, Hemmila EM, Holmes KV (2006) Human coronavirus 229E can use CD209L (L-SIGN) to enter cells. Adv Exp Med Biol 581 :265-269


Jenkins CE, Swiatoniowski A, Power MR, Lin TJ (2006) Pseudomonas aeruginosa-induced human mast cell apoptosis is associated with up-regulation of endogenous Bcl-xS and down-regulation of Bcl-xL. J Immunol 177 :8000-8007


Mast cells play a critical role in the host defense against bacterial infection. Recently, apoptosis has been demonstrated to be essential in the regulation of host response to Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In this study we show that human mast cell line HMC-1 and human cord blood-derived mast cells undergo apoptosis as determined by the ssDNA formation after infection with P. aeruginosa. P. aeruginosa induced activation of caspase-3 in mast cells as evidenced by the cleavage of D4-GDI, an endogenous caspase-3 substrate and the generation of an active form of caspase-3. Interestingly, P. aeruginosa treatment induced up-regulation of Bcl-x(S) and down-regulation of Bcl-x(L). Bcl-x(S), and Bcl-x(L) are alternative variants produced from the same Bcl-x pre-mRNA. The former is proapoptotic and the latter is antiapoptotic likely through regulating mitochondrial membrane integrity. Treatment of mast cells with P. aeruginosa induced release of cytochrome c from mitochondria and loss of mitochondrial membrane potentials. Moreover, P. aeruginosa treatment reduced levels of Fas-associated death domain protein-like IL-1beta-converting enzyme-inhibitory proteins (FLIPs) that are endogenous apoptosis inhibitors through counteraction with caspase-8. Thus, human mast cells undergo apoptosis after encountering P. aeruginosa through a mechanism that likely involves both the Bcl family protein mitochondrial-dependent and the FLIP-associated caspase-8 pathways.

Jimenez-Martinez MC, Mejia H, Linares M, Santacruz C, Sanchez-Navarro A, Suarez R, Garfias Y (2006) [Expression of B7 molecules and TLR-9 on corneal epithelial cells infected with adenovirus : clinico-pathological implications in viral keratoconjunctivitis]. Arch Soc Esp Oftalmol 81 :391-400


PURPOSE : B7 molecules are a family of proteins that co-stimulate T cells during immune activation. Normally the corneal epithelial cells (CEC) do not express these molecules on their cell surface. Toll-like receptors play an important role in the innate immune response to invading pathogens and recently have been demonstrated to be expressed on mice cornea. The objective of this study was to determine whether adenoviral infection induces B7 molecules and TLR9 on human CEC. METHODS : CEC were isolated from human corneas treated with dispase-II, and grown in the presence of supplemented hormonal epithelial medium until confluence. Then CEC were then infected with adenovirus 5 (Ad5) and cultured for different times. The CEC were then recovered and stained against human CD80, CD86, TLR-9 and cytokeratin. All cells were analyzed by flow cytometry. RESULTS : Ad5 infection of CEC induced the expression of B7 molecules and TLR-9 after 24 hours in culture, rising to maximum levels at 72 hours. B7 expression at 72 hours was as follows : CD80 expression on infected CEC was 62% (standard error [SE] 2.6) versus 3% (SE 1.2) on non-infected CEC (p<0.001) ; CD86 expression on infected CEC was 95% (SE 2.1) versus 5% (SE 1.2) on non-infected CEC (p<0.001). TLR-9 expression at 72 hours was 80% (SE 1.2) on infected CEC versus 5% (SE 1) on non-infected CEC (p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS : Ad5 infection induced the expression of B7 molecules and TLR-9 on CEC.

Johansson KC, Soderhall K, Cerenius L (2006) Diptericin expression in bacteria infected Drosophila mbn-2 cells - effect of infection dose and phagocytosis. Insect Mol Biol 15 :57-62


Drosophila haemocytes play a key role in defence against microbial aggression. Their capacity to sense and dispose of bacteria and also to signal to other immune tissues is probably vital to overcome an infection. In this work we used the haemocyte-like mbn-2 cell line to investigate how expression of the antimicrobial peptide diptericin is affected after a high dose bacterial challenge with diaminopimelic acid (DAP)-peptidoglycan Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. We report that diptericin expression is negatively affected by high infection dose and rapid bacterial growth regardless of the type of infection and bacterial virulence and occurs in the absence of mbn-2 cell death. Furthermore we show that the mbn-2 cell population is heterogeneous, containing both phagocytic and nonphagocytic cells and that contact with large numbers of bacteria decreases diptericin expression in the phagocytic cell population.

Jones TH, Murray A, Johns M, Gill CO, McMullen LM (2006) Differential expression of proteins in cold-adapted log-phase cultures of Escherichia coli incubated at 8, 6 or 2 degrees C. Int J Food Microbiol 107 :12-19


Temperature is used to control the growth of microorganisms in foods. The minimum temperature for sustained growth of Escherichia coli is 7 degrees C. E. coli cells in the logarithmic phase of growth at 15 degrees C were incubated at 8, 6 or 2 degrees C. The cells grew with the formation of filaments at the two higher temperatures, but did not grow at 2 degrees C. In order to investigate more thoroughly the nature of filament formation in E. coli at temperatures near the minimum temperature for sustained growth, cells were harvested after 1 day at 2 degrees C or at times up to 4 or 8 days at 8 or 6 degrees C, respectively. Proteins extracted from the cells were separated by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE), and spots containing differentially expressed proteins were identified by quadropole time-of-flight tandem (Q-ToF-2) mass spectrometry. For most of the identified proteins, the amounts were not substantially different in cells grown at 15 degrees C or incubated at 2 degrees C. In cells incubated at 8 or 6 degrees C, proteins associated with stress responses, the tricarboxylic acid cycle and electron transport were present in substantially greater amounts, and proteins associated with protein synthesis were present in substantially smaller amounts than in cells grown at 15 degrees C. These findings suggest that the stringent response is induced in E. coli incubated at temperatures near the minimum for growth, so the formation of filaments at those temperatures may be a result of the stringent response.

Jung YJ, Ryu KH, Cho SJ, Woo SY, Seoh JY, Chun CH, Yoo K, Moon IH, Han HS (2006) Syngenic bone marrow cells restore hepatic function in carbon tetrachloride-induced mouse liver injury. Stem Cells Dev 15 :687-695


Progenitor cells in bone marrow have been explored for the treatment of liver injury. Stem cell homing to the injured tissue is regulated through stromal cell derived factor-1 (SDF-1) and its receptor CXCR4. We hypothesized that syngenic bone marrow cells (BMCs) would restore hepatic function in the injured liver through the regulation by SDF-1/CXCR4 system. After injecting carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4)), the mice were injected with syngenic BMCs or normal saline. Morphological and functional analysis of the liver was performed. Flow cytometry for the stem cell markers and CXCR4 was done with the liver, BM, and spleen cells from each group. Carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester was used to trace the homing of transplanted BMCs. The SDF-1 expression of the liver was assessed by immunohistochemistry. Hepatosplenomegaly and necrosis of the CCl(4)-injected mouse liver were improved after BMCs transplantation The hepatic enzymes were increased after injury and then decreased after BMCs transplantation. The expression of stem cell markers and CXCR4 was exclusively increased in the damaged liver compared to the BM and spleen, and even more elevated after BMCs transplantation. SDF-1 expression in the liver was observed after CCl(4) injection and it was elevated after BMCs transplantation. The intrinsic and extrinsic BMCs migrate specifically to the injured liver rather than BM or spleen, and the transplanted BMCs contribute to the repair of the damaged liver. SDF-1/CXCR-4 interaction plays a role in stem cell homing toward the damaged organ, and transplanted BMCs are involved in the up-regulated SDF-1 expression seen in the injured liver.

Klumpp DJ, Rycyk MT, Chen MC, Thumbikat P, Sengupta S, Schaeffer AJ (2006) Uropathogenic Escherichia coli induces extrinsic and intrinsic cascades to initiate urothelial apoptosis. Infect Immun 74 :5106-5113


A murine model of urinary tract infection identified urothelial apoptosis as a key event in the pathogenesis mediated by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), yet the mechanism of this important host response is not well characterized. We employed a culture model of UPEC-urothelium interactions to examine the biochemical events associated with urothelial apoptosis induced by the UPEC strain NU14. NU14 induced DNA cleavage within 5 h that was inhibited by the broad caspase inhibitor ZVAD, and urothelial caspase 3 activity was induced within 3 h of exposure to type 1 piliated NU14 and was dependent upon interactions mediated by the type 1 pilus adhesin FimH. Flow cytometry experiments using chloromethyl-X-rosamine and Indo-1 revealed FimH-dependent mitochondrial membrane depolarization and elevated [Ca(2+)](in), respectively, indicating activation of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway. Consistent with this possibility, overexpression of Bcl(XL) inhibited NU14 activation of caspase 3. Immunoblotting, caspase inhibitors, and caspase activity assays implicated both caspase 2 and caspase 8 in apoptosis, suggesting the involvement of the intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic cascades. To reconcile the apparent activation of both extrinsic and intrinsic pathways, we examined Bid-green fluorescent protein localization and observed translocation from the cytosol to mitochondria in response to either NU14 or purified FimH. These data suggest that FimH acts as a tethered toxin of UPEC that activates caspase-dependent urothelial apoptosis via direct induction of the extrinsic pathway and that the intrinsic pathway is activated indirectly as a result of coupling by caspase 8-mediated Bid cleavage.

Kolberg J, Aase A, Bergmann S, Herstad TK, Rodal G, Frank R, Rohde M, Hammerschmidt S (2006) Streptococcus pneumoniae enolase is important for plasminogen binding despite low abundance of enolase protein on the bacterial cell surface. Microbiology 152 :1307-1317


Enolase represents one of the anchorless surface proteins of Streptococcus pneumoniae and has previously been identified as a plasminogen-binding protein, endowing this pathogen with host proteolytic activity. In this study the mAb 245,C-6 (IgG1) was produced in a BALB/c mouse after immunizing with a protein fraction from S. pneumoniae. The mAb reacted with recombinant pneumococcal enolase both under non-denaturing and denaturing conditions. The epitope for the mAb was mapped to residues (55)DKSRYGGLG(63) of pneumococcal enolase using a peptide array. By applying the previously reported structure of enolase, this epitope was localized in a surface-exposed loop in each of the monomers of the octameric enolase. Previous immunoelectron microscopic studies, using polyclonal rabbit antibodies against enolase, depicted enolase on the cell surface but did not quantify the amount of surface-exposed enolase on viable pneumococci. Here, flow cytometry revealed no binding of mAb 245,C-6 to viable pneumococci, including TIGR4 and its non-encapsulated isogenic mutant, and only a minor increase of fluorescence intensity was measured when the polyclonal anti-enolase antibodies were used. In contrast, control antibodies recognizing the choline-binding proteins (CBPs) PspA and PspC showed high reactivities. The non-encapsulated TIGR4 did not show increased levels of antibody binding for mAb 245,C-6 or polyclonal anti-enolase antibodies, but revealed increased binding of polyclonal antibodies reacting with PspA or PspC. These results suggest that, compared to other surface-exposed proteins such as CBPs, the amount of enolase under the selected conditions is low. Flow cytometry, however, with FITC-labelled plasminogen demonstrated that the amount of surface-exposed enolase is important for plasminogen binding and, therefore, is also important for pneumococcal pathogenesis.

Kristoffersen EK, Haram KO, Edvardsen B, Ernst P, Bjorge L (2006) Placental expression of glycophosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins in paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria. Scand J Immunol 64 :140-144


Paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH) is a clonal stem cell disorder in which a defect of glycophosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins leads to higher morbidity and mortality because of intravascular haemolysis, haemoglobinuria, pancytopenia and an increased frequency of thrombotic events. We report here the clinical features of a pregnant woman with PNH and present an immunhistochemical analysis of complement regulators, leukocyte activation markers and placental alkaline phosphatase (PALP) on syncytiotrophoblasts and inflammatory cells in her placenta. Placental tissue from normal deliveries served as controls. The patient had severe PNH with haemolysis, thrombosis episodes and signs of bone marrow failure. Placental syncytiotrophoblasts and villous cells of fetal origin in both normal placentas and the placenta from the PNH patient expressed PALP and the complement regulators CD46, CD55 and CD59. Additionally, CD11b-positive leukocytes of presumed maternal origin were negative for CD15 in the PNH placenta, while they stained positive within the villous space and in normal placentas. These findings show that fetally derived cells in the PNH placenta expressed GPI-linked molecules that are known to be of importance for a successful pregnancy outcome.

Lahtinen SJ, Ouwehand AC, Reinikainen JP, Korpela JM, Sandholm J, Salminen SJ (2006) Intrinsic properties of so-called dormant probiotic bacteria, determined by flow cytometric viability assays. Appl Environ Microbiol 72 :5132-5134


Plate counting and four culture-independent flow cytometric assays were used to determine the viability and intrinsic properties of three probiotic strains during storage. The strains showed reduction in plate counts but were able to maintain esterase activity, intact cytoplasmic membrane, and pH gradient. The apparently uncultivable probiotic cells were active and stress resistant.

Larson JS, Yin M, Fischer JM, Stringer SL, Stringer JR (2006) Expression and loss of alleles in cultured mouse embryonic fibroblasts and stem cells carrying allelic fluorescent protein genes. BMC Mol Biol 7 :36


BACKGROUND : Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) contributes to many cancers, but the rate at which these events occur in normal cells of the body is not clear. LOH would be detectable in diverse cell types in the body if this event were to confer an obvious cellular phenotype. Mice that carry two different fluorescent protein genes as alleles of a locus would seem to be a useful tool for addressing this issue because LOH would change a cell’s phenotype from dichromatic to monochromatic. In addition, LOH caused by mitotic crossing over might be discernable in tissues because this event produces a pair of neighboring monochromatic cells that are different colors. RESULTS : As a step in assessing the utility of this approach, we derived primary embryonic fibroblast populations and embryonic stem cell lines from mice that carried two different fluorescent protein genes as alleles at the chromosome 6 locus, ROSA26. Fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) showed that the vast majority of cells in each line expressed the two marker proteins at similar levels, and that populations exhibited expression noise similar to that seen in bacteria and yeast. Cells with a monochromatic phenotype were present at frequencies on the order of 10(-4) and appeared to be produced at a rate of approximately 10(-5) variant cells per mitosis. 45 of 45 stably monochromatic ES cell clones exhibited loss of the expected allele at the ROSA26 locus. More than half of these clones retained heterozygosity at a locus between ROSA26 and the centromere. Other clones exhibited LOH near the centromere, but were disomic for chromosome 6. CONCLUSION : Allelic fluorescent markers allowed LOH at the ROSA26 locus to be detected by FACS. LOH at this locus was usually not accompanied by LOH near the centromere, suggesting that mitotic recombination was the major cause of ROSA26 LOH. Dichromatic mouse embryonic cells provide a novel system for studying genetic/karyotypic stability and factors influencing expression from allelic genes. Similar approaches will allow these phenomena to be studied in tissues.

Lawrence JE, Brussaard CP, Suttle CA (2006) Virus-specific responses of Heterosigma akashiwo to infection. Appl Environ Microbiol 72 :7829-7834


We used flow cytometry to examine the process of cell death in the bloom-forming alga Heterosigma akashiwo during infection by a double-stranded DNA virus (OIs1) and a single-stranded RNA virus (H. akashiwo RNA virus [HaRNAV]). These viruses were isolated from the same geographic area and infect the same strain of H. akashiwo. By use of the live/dead stains fluorescein diacetate and SYTOX green as indicators of cellular physiology, cells infected with OIs1 showed signs of infection earlier than HaRNAV-infected cultures (6 to 17 h versus 23 to 29 h). Intracellular esterase activity was lost prior to increased membrane permeability during infection with OIs1, while the opposite was seen with HaRNAV-infected cultures. In addition, OIs1-infected cells accumulated in the cultures while HaRNAV-infected cells rapidly disintegrated. Progeny OIs1 viruses consisted of large and small morphotypes with estimated latent periods of 11 and 17 h, respectively, and about 1,100 and 16,000 viruses produced per cell, respectively. In contrast, HaRNAV produced about 21,000 viruses per cell and had a latent period of 29 h. This study reveals that the characteristics of viral infection in algae are virus dependent and therefore are variable among viruses infecting the same species. This is an important consideration for ecosystem modeling exercises ; calculations based on in situ measurements of algal physiology must be sensitive to the diverse responses of algae to viral infection.

Le Monnier A, Join-Lambert OF, Jaubert F, Berche P, Kayal S (2006) Invasion of the placenta during murine listeriosis. Infect Immun 74 :663-672


Feto-placental infections due to Listeria monocytogenes represent a major threat during pregnancy, and the underlying mechanisms of placental invasion remain poorly understood. Here we used a murine model of listeriosis (pregnant mice, infected at day 14 of gestation) to investigate how this pathogen invades and grows within the placenta to ultimately infect the fetus. When L. monocytogenes is injected intravenously, the invasion of the placenta occurs early after the initial bacteremia, allowing the placental growth of the bacteria, which is an absolute requirement for vertical transmission to the fetus. Kinetically, bacteria first target the cells lining the central arterial canal of the placenta, which stain positively with cytokeratin, demonstrating their fetal trophoblast origin. Bacteria then disseminate rapidly to the other trophoblastic structures, like syncytiotrophoblast cells lining the villous core in the labyrinthine zone of placenta. Additionally, we found that an inflammatory reaction predominantly constituted of polymorphonuclear cells occurs in the villous placenta and participates in the control of infection. Altogether, our results suggest that the infection of murine placenta is dependent, at the early phase, on circulating bacteria and their interaction with endovascular trophoblastic cells. Subsequently, the bacteria spread to the other trophoblastic cells before crossing the placental barrier.

Leisenfelder SA, Moffat JF (2006) Varicella-zoster virus infection of human foreskin fibroblast cells results in atypical cyclin expression and cyclin-dependent kinase activity. J Virol 80 :5577-5587


In its course of human infection, varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infects rarely dividing cells such as dermal fibroblasts, differentiated keratinocytes, mature T cells, and neurons, none of which are actively synthesizing DNA ; however, VZV is able to productively infect them and use their machinery to replicate the viral genome. We hypothesized that VZV alters the intracellular environment to favor viral replication by dysregulating cell cycle proteins and kinases. Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) and cyclins displayed a highly unusual profile in VZV-infected confluent fibroblasts : total amounts of CDK1, CDK2, cyclin B1, cyclin D3, and cyclin A protein increased, and kinase activities of CDK2, CDK4, and cyclin B1 were strongly and simultaneously induced. Cyclins B1 and D3 increased as early as 24 h after infection, concurrent with VZV protein synthesis. Confocal microscopy indicated that cyclin D3 overexpression was limited to areas of IE62 production, whereas cyclin B1 expression was irregular across the VZV plaque. Downstream substrates of CDKs, including pRb, p107, and GM130, did not show phosphorylation by immunoblotting, and p21 and p27 protein levels were increased following infection. Finally, although the complement of cyclin expression and high CDK activity indicated a progression through the S and G(2) phases of the cell cycle, DNA staining and flow cytometry indicated a possible G(1)/S blockade in infected cells. These data support earlier studies showing that pharmacological CDK inhibitors can inhibit VZV replication in cultured cells.

Linhartova I, Basler M, Ichikawa J, Pelicic V, Osicka R, Lory S, Nassif X, Sebo P (2006) Meningococcal adhesion suppresses proapoptotic gene expression and promotes expression of genes supporting early embryonic and cytoprotective signaling of human endothelial cells. FEMS Microbiol Lett 263 :109-118


Neisseria meningitidis colonizes the human nasopharynx and occasionally causes lethal or damaging septicemia and meningitis. Here, we examined the adherence-mediated signaling of meningococci to human cells by comparing gene expression profiles of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) infected by adherent wild-type, frpC-deficient mutant, or the nonadherent (DeltapilD) N. meningitidis. Pili-mediated adhesion of meningococci resulted in alterations of expression levels of human genes known to regulate apoptosis, cell proliferation, inflammatory response, adhesion and genes for signaling pathway proteins such as TGF-beta/Smad, Wnt/beta-catenin and Notch/Jagged. This reveals that adhering piliated meningocci manipulate host signaling pathways controlling cell proliferation while establishing a commensal relationship.

Liu F, Chen H, Galvan EM, Lasaro MA, Schifferli DM (2006) Effects of Psa and F1 on the adhesive and invasive interactions of Yersinia pestis with human respiratory tract epithelial cells. Infect Immun 74 :5636-5644


Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, expresses the Psa fimbriae (pH 6 antigen) in vitro and in vivo. To evaluate the potential virulence properties of Psa for pneumonic plague, an Escherichia coli strain expressing Psa was engineered and shown to adhere to three types of human respiratory tract epithelial cells. Psa binding specificity was confirmed with Psa-coated polystyrene beads and by inhibition assays. Individual Y. pestis cells were found to be able to express the capsular antigen fraction 1 (F1) concomitantly with Psa on their surface when analyzed by flow cytometry. To better evaluate the separate effects of F1 and Psa on the adhesive and invasive properties of Y. pestis, isogenic Deltacaf (F1 genes), Deltapsa, and Deltacaf Deltapsa mutants were constructed and studied with the three respiratory tract epithelial cells. The Deltapsa mutant bound significantly less to all three epithelial cells compared to the parental wild-type strain and the Deltacaf and Deltacaf Deltapsa mutants, indicating that Psa acts as an adhesin for respiratory tract epithelial cells. An antiadhesive effect of F1 was clearly detectable only in the absence of Psa, underlining the dominance of the Psa+ phenotype. Both F1 and Psa inhibited the intracellular uptake of Y. pestis. Thus, F1 inhibits bacterial uptake by inhibiting bacterial adhesion to epithelial cells, whereas Psa seems to block bacterial uptake by interacting with a host receptor that doesn’t direct internalization. The Deltacaf Deltapsa double mutant bound and invaded all three epithelial cell types well, revealing the presence of an undefined adhesin(s) and invasin(s).

Liu M, Ding H, Zhao P, Qin ZL, Gao J, Cao MM, Luan J, Wu WB, Qi ZT (2006) RNA interference effectively inhibits mRNA accumulation and protein expression of hepatitis C virus core and E2 genes in human cells. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 70 :2049-2055


RNA interference (RNAi) has been widely used for the analysis of gene function and represents a new promising approach to develop effective antiviral drugs. In this study, several small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) corresponding to two structural genes (core and E2) of hepatitis C virus (HCV) were designed and in vitro transcribed to explore the possibility of silencing these two genes. The plasmids pEGFP-C and pEGFP-E2, which contain the EGFP reporter gene and the core or E2 gene as silencing targets, were co-transfected with siRNAs into HEK 293T cells. At various time points of post-transfection, core and E2 expression levels were detected by fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry, Western blotting, and real-time quantitative PCR. The results showed that the mean fluorescence intensity, protein expression, and RNA transcripts of siRNAs transfected cells were significantly reduced. This may provide an approach for the development of novel prophylactic or therapeutic agents for HCV infection.

Liu R, Zhu W, Zhang Y, Zhu T, Liu H, Fang Y, Gu Q (2006) A new diphenyl ether from marine-derived fungus Aspergillus sp. B-F-2. J Antibiot (Tokyo) 59 :362-365


A new diphenyl ether dimethyl 2,3’-dimethylosoate (1) together with three known compounds monomethylsulochrin (2), emodin (3), and questin (4) were isolated through bioassay-guided fractionations from the culture of a marine-derived fungus Aspergillus sp. B-F-2. The structures of these compounds were determined by spectroscopic methods. Cytotoxicities of compounds 1 and 2 against K562 cell line were preliminarily evaluated by the MTT method and flow cytometry.

Liu X, Cao S, Zhou R, Xu G, Xiao S, Yang Y, Sun M, Li Y, Chen H (2006) Inhibition of Japanese encephalitis virus NS1 protein expression in cell by small interfering RNAs. Virus Genes 33 :69-75


Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), a serious mosquitoborne flavivirus, causes an acute infection of the central system resulting in encephalitis of humans and many kinds of animals. A high proportion of the survivors exhibit neurogical and psychiatric sequelae. NS1 is one of important non-structural proteins, which was found to be associated with viral RNA replication. To inhibit NS1 expression, four small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) expression plasmids (pS-NS1A, pS-NS1B, pS-NS1C and pS-NS1D) were generated to target four different coding regions of the NS1 gene, and were separately co-transfected into Vero cells with an NS1-EGFP fusion expression plasmid pNS1-EGFP. NS1 expression was evaluated by fluorescence microscope, flow cytometry assay, Western blot and RT-PCR. The results revealed that pS-NS1B, pS-NS1C and pS-NS1D could effectively and specifically inhibit NS1 expression in Vero cells. Our data suggested that these siRNAs could be used to inhibit JEV replication by silencing NS1 protein expression in further study.

Liu Y, Yao T, Jiao N, Kang S, Zeng Y, Huang S (2006) Microbial community structure in moraine lakes and glacial meltwaters, Mount Everest. FEMS Microbiol Lett 265 :98-105


The bacterial diversity and abundance in two moraine lakes and two glacial meltwaters (5140, 5152, 5800 and 6350 m above sea level, respectively) in the remote Mount Everest region were examined through 16S rRNA gene clone library and flow cytometry approaches. In total, 247 clones were screened by RFLP and 60 16S rRNA gene sequences were obtained, belonging to the following groups : Proteobacteria (8% alpha subdivision, 21% beta subdivision, and 1% gamma subdivision), Cytophaga-Flavobacteria-Bacteroides (CFB) (54%), Actinobacteria (4%), Planctomycetes (2%), Verrucomicrobia (2%), Fibrobacteres (1%) and Eukaryotic chroloplast (3%), respectively. The high dominance of CFB distinguished the Mount Everest waters from other mountain lakes. The highest bacterial abundance and diversity occurred in the open moraine lake at 5152 m, and the lowest in the glacial meltwater at 6350 m. Low temperature at high altitude is considered to be critical for component dominancy. At the same altitude, nutrient availability plays a role in regulating population structure. Our results also show that the bacteria in Mount Everest may be derived from different sources.

Liu ZF, Chen CY, Tang W, Zhang JY, Gong YQ, Jia JH (2006) Gene-expression profiles in gastric epithelial cells stimulated with spiral and coccoid Helicobacter pylori. J Med Microbiol 55 :1009-1015


Human gastric epithelial immortalized GES-1 cells were infected with spiral and coccoid Helicobacter pylori. Scanning electron microscopy was used to determine the ability of the two forms of H. pylori to adhere to GES-1 cells. GES-1 cell apoptosis induced by coccoid and spiral H. pylori was analysed using flow cytometry. A cDNA microarray for 22,000 human genes was used to identify the gene-expression differences in GES-1 cells infected with the two forms of H. pylori, and the gene expression identified by the cDNA microarray was confirmed by RT-PCR. Scanning electron microscope observation showed that both coccoid and spiral bacteria can adhere to GES-1 cells. After 4 h infection, apoptosis induction was 27.4% for spiral-form infection and 10.2% for coccoid-form infection. Of 268 differentially expressed genes identified by cDNA microarray, 166 showed higher expression with the spiral H. pylori infection than with the coccoid H. pylori infection. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first report that GES-1 cells infected with spiral H. pylori have higher expression of cxcl10, ccl11, ccl5, groalpha, TLR5, ATF3, fos, fosl2, gadd45a and myc. The cells infected with coccoid H. pylori had higher expression of survivin. The global profile of gene expression in GES-1 cells infected with coccoid and spiral H. pylori is described for the first time.

Lu YW, Tan TL, Chan V, Chen WN (2006) The HBSP gene is expressed during HBV replication, and its coded BH3-containing spliced viral protein induces apoptosis in HepG2 cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 351 :64-70


The mechanisms of liver injury in hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection are defined to be due not to the direct cytopathic effects of viruses, but to the host immune response to viral proteins expressed by infected hepatocytes. We showed here that transfection of mammalian cells with a replicative HBV genome causes extensive cytopathic effects, leading to the death of infected cells. While either necrosis or apoptosis or both may contribute to the death of infected cells, results from flow cytometry suggest that apoptosis plays a major role in HBV-induced cell death. Data mining of the four HBV protein sequences reveals the presence of a Bcl-2 homology domain 3 (BH3) in HBSP, a spliced viral protein previously shown to be able to induce apoptosis and associated with HBV pathogenesis. HBSP is expressed at early stage of our cell-based HBV replication. When transfected into HepG2 cells, HBSP causes apoptosis in a caspase dependent manner. Taken together, our results suggested a direct involvement of HBV viral proteins in cellular apoptosis, which may contribute to liver pathogenesis.

Luo K, Pang Y (2006) Spodoptera litura multicapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus inhibits Microplitis bicoloratus polydnavirus-induced host granulocytes apoptosis. J Insect Physiol 52 :795-806


Baculoviruses and parasitoids are critically important biological control agents in integrated pest management (IPM). They have been simultaneously and sequentially used to target insect pests. In this study, we examined the impacts of both baculovirus and polydnavirus (PDV) infection on the host cellular immune response. Larvae of the lepidopteran Spodoptera litura were infected by Spodoptera litura multicapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus (SpltMNPV) and then the animals were parasitized by the braconid wasp Microplitis bicoloratus. The fate of the parasitoids in the dually infected hosts was followed and encapsulation of M. bicoloratus first instar larvae was observed. Hemocytes of S. litura larvae underwent apoptosis in naturally parasitized hosts and in non-parasitized larvae after injection of M. bicoloratus ovarian calyx fluid (containing MbPDV) plus venom (CFPV). However, assessments of the percentages of cells undergoing apoptosis under different treatments indicated that SpltMNPV could inhibit MbPDV-induced apoptosis in hemocytes when hosts were first injected with SpltMNPV budded virus (BV) followed by injection with M. bicoloratus CFPV. As the time of injection with SpltMNPV BV increased, the percentages of apoptosis in hemocytes population declined. Furthermore, in vitro, the percentages of apoptosis showed that SpltMNPV BV could inhibit MbPDV-induced granulocytes apoptosis. The occurrence of MbPDV-induced host granulocytes apoptosis was inhibited in the dually infected hosts. As hemocytes apoptosis causes host immunosuppression, the parasitoids are normally protected from the host immune system. However, in larvae infected with both baculovirus and PDV, the parasitoids underwent encapsulation in the host hemocoel.

Luxameechanporn T, Blair C, Kirtsreesakul V, Thompson K, Naclerio RM (2006) The effect of treatment with moxifloxacin or azithromycin on acute bacterial rhinosinusitis in mice. Int J Infect Dis 10 :401-406


OBJECTIVE : Acute bacterial rhinosinusitis, which is a major health problem, is treated with antibiotics. We developed a mouse model of acute bacterial rhinosinusitis to gain a better understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease. Our goal was to investigate the response to acute rhinosinusitis when treated with either a bactericidal or a bacteriostatic antibiotic. METHODS : C57BL/6 mice were infected intranasally with Streptococcus pneumoniae. One day after inoculation, the mice were treated with either moxifloxacin (bactericidal) or azithromycin (bacteriostatic). Different groups were euthanized during the first five days post-inoculation. Bacterial counts from nasal lavage culture and the cell markers GR1, CD11b, CD3, CD4, and CD8 in sinus tissue were evaluated by flow cytometry. RESULTS : Azithromycin led to rapid clearance of the bacteria and of the inflammation in contrast to placebo. Surprisingly, moxifloxacin showed a limited effect. Investigations of this limited effect of moxifloxacin suggested a high metabolic clearance, a low concentration at the site of infection, and low persistent post-antibiotic effects of moxifloxacin in mice. CONCLUSION : Our animal model of acute sinusitis has great utility for studying the disease, but the difference between mice and man must always be considered in making extrapolations from animal experiments to the human experience.

Mah KW, Bjorksten B, Lee BW, van Bever HP, Shek LP, Tan TN, Lee YK, Chua KY (2006) Distinct pattern of commensal gut microbiota in toddlers with eczema. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 140 :157-163


BACKGROUND : Recent studies have demonstrated differences in the composition of gut microbiota in infants with and without allergic diseases, particularly eczema. METHODS : A case-control study involving 21 toddlers (age 3.0 +/- 0.5 years) with and 28 age-matched toddlers without eczema was conducted. Four groups of aerobic gut microbiota were identified and quantitated in stool samples grown on selective media. Three groups of anaerobes were enumerated by fluorescent in situ hybridization followed by quantitative flow cytometry. We also performed molecular typing of lactic-acid-producing bacteria (LAB) and enterococcal isolates to facilitate detailed analysis at species level by bacterial 16S rDNA sequencing. RESULTS : Toddlers with eczema harbored significantly lower counts of Bifidobacterium [(median 0.14 (25th and 75th percentile : 0.04 and 0.47) vs. 0.71% (0.16, 1.79) of cells acquired, p = 0.003)] and Clostridium [(0.28 (0.09, 0.78) vs. 0.83% (0.35, 1.82) of cells acquired, p = 0.012)] but significantly higher counts of total LAB [7.3 (6.1, 8.5) vs. 5.7 (4.4, 7.3) log CFU/g, p = 0.006] in particular enterococci [6.3 (4.8, 7.4) vs. 5.0 (3.4, 6.4) log CFU/g, p = 0.018]. There was no significant correlation between eczema severity score and bifidobacterial counts. CONCLUSION : The results further confirm previous reports that the gut microecosystem differs between children with and without eczema and extend them beyond infancy.

Mangell P, Lennernas P, Wang M, Olsson C, Ahrne S, Molin G, Thorlacius H, Jeppsson B (2006) Adhesive capability of Lactobacillus plantarum 299v is important for preventing bacterial translocation in endotoxemic rats. Apmis 114 :611-618


The preventive effect of the probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum 299v on bacterial translocation (BT) and the role of adhesion were studied in septic rats. Five groups of rats were pretreated as follows : negative and positive control groups received regular drinking water ; the oatmeal group received drinking water mixed with oatmeal ; the Lp 299v group received drinking water mixed with oatmeal containing 10(9) colony-forming units (CFU) L. plantarum 299v/ml ; the Lp 299v-adh(-) group received drinking water with oatmeal containing 10(9) CFU/ml of modified L. plantarum 299v (L. plantarum 299v-adh(-)) lacking adhesive properties to enterocytes. On day 8, all rats except the negative control group were given lipopolysaccharide (LPS) intraperitoneally. After 24 h, mesenteric lymph node (MLN), liver and ileum were harvested for culture. Incidence of BT after LPS challenge was 25% and 88% in MLN and liver, respectively. BT increased to 75% in MLN and 100% in liver of endotoxemic rats pretreated with oatmeal. Pretreatment with L. plantarum 299v reduced BT to 0% and 12% in MLN and liver, respectively. L. plantarum 299v-adh(-) did not prevent BT to MLN. Flow cytometry revealed reduced adherence of these bacteria to intestinal epithelial cells compared to L. plantarum 299v. Thus, L. plantarum 299v prevents BT in septic rats, an effect probably dependent on bacterial adherence to the intestinal mucosa. Further, our findings indicate that oatmeal (prebiotics) without probiotics does not prevent BT during sepsis.

Marcotte H, Koll-Klais P, Hultberg A, Zhao Y, Gmur R, Mandar R, Mikelsaar M, Hammarstrom L (2006) Expression of single-chain antibody against RgpA protease of Porphyromonas gingivalis in Lactobacillus. J Appl Microbiol 100 :256-263


AIMS : The monoclonal antibody 61BG1.3, recognizing the RgpA protease, has been reported to confer protection against recolonization by the periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis in humans. The aim of this study was to express a functional scFv derived from the monoclonal antibody 61BG1.3 on the surface of Lactobacillus paracasei for potential use in the prevention or treatment of periodontal diseases. METHODS AND RESULTS : The scFv was fused to an E-tag and cloned in the Escherischia coli/Lactobacillus shuttle vector pLP501, which mediates surface expression of the scFv. FACS analysis using an anti-E-tag antibody revealed that the scFv was expressed on the surface of the transformed lactobacilli and binding of the scFv to RgpA was shown by ELISA. Lact. paracasei expressing the scFv against RgpA was able to agglutinate P. gingivalis whereas the Lact. paracasei expressing an irrelevant scFv fragment did not. Scanning electron microscopy demonstrated efficient binding of the lactobacilli expressing the scFv anti-RgpA to P. gingivalis. CONCLUSIONS : We have expressed a functional scFv antibody directed against the RgpA protease of P. gingivalis in Lactobacillus. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY : These results suggest a potential of Lactobacillus expressing scFvs against P. gingivalis to be used to combat periodontal disease.

Marie D, Zhu F, Balague V, Ras J, Vaulot D (2006) Eukaryotic picoplankton communities of the Mediterranean Sea in summer assessed by molecular approaches (DGGE, TTGE, QPCR). FEMS Microbiol Ecol 55 :403-415


The composition and abundance of eukaryotic picoplankton (defined here as cells smaller than 3 mum) was investigated in the Morocco upwelling and throughout the Mediterranean Sea in late summer using flow cytometry and molecular methods (gradient gel electrophoresis and quantitative PCR). The picoplankton displayed characteristics typical of oligotrophic oceanic areas with concentrations down to 1000 cells mL(-1) in the Eastern Basin. The most abundant eukaryotic sequences recovered by gradient gel electrophoresis were related to uncultivated marine groups : alveolates I (16%) and II (26%) and a newly discovered group (env Nansha, 17%) for which sequences have been recently obtained from the South China Sea and that could be related to Acantharians. Prasinophyceae (photosynthetic green algae) accounted for 10% of the sequences, whereas Cercozoa, Stramenopiles, Polycystinea, dinoflagellates and ciliates provided minor contributions. The use of quantitative PCR coupled with taxon-specific primers allowed us to estimate the relative abundance of several taxa belonging to the Prasinophyceae. Of the three genera assessed, Bathycoccus appeared as the most abundant, forming localized maxima at depth.

Martinez-Cuesta MC, Requena T, Pelaez C (2006) Cell membrane damage induced by lacticin 3147 enhances aldehyde formation in Lactococcus lactis IFPL730. Int J Food Microbiol 109 :198-204


Amino acid catabolism is mainly initiated in Lactococcus lactis by a transamination reaction that leads to the formation of alpha-keto acids. In addition, a novel alpha-keto acid decarboxylase enzyme, rare in lactic acid bacteria, responsible for the conversion of alpha-keto acids into aldehydes has been reported in L. lactis IFPL730. The effect of lacticin 3147-induced cell damage on both amino acid transamination and alpha-keto acid decarboxylation by L. lactis IFPL730 leading to the formation of aldehydes from amino acids was investigated. Cell membrane permeabilization induced by lacticin 3147 facilitated the diffusion of amino acids into the cells and thus, enhanced amino acid transamination and formation of alpha-keto acids. However, alpha-keto acid decarboxylation was not affected by cell membrane permeabilization since decarboxylation of alpha-keto acids in both control and lacticin 3147-treated cells were similar, suggesting that these substrates could freely diffuse inside the cells. Nevertheless, the formation of 2-methylbutyraldehyde from isoleucine was enhanced in lacticin 3147-treated cells. The increase in alpha-keto acids formation rate by L. lactis IFPL730 due to lacticin 3147-induced cell damage, led to a concomitant increase in the subsequent decarboxylation reaction that complete the metabolic pathway to aldehyde production from amino acids. The present study points out to the use of the food grade lacticin 3147 along with L. lactis IFPL730 as a valuable tool in the development of cheese flavour.

Martins TB, Augustine NH, Hill HR (2006) Development of a multiplexed fluorescent immunoassay for the quantitation of antibody responses to group A streptococci. J Immunol Methods 316 :97-106


The host immunologic response to group A streptococcal infections gives rise to numerous antibodies directed against cellular and extracellular bacterial antigens. For determining individual immune status, or studying the pathogenesis of group A streptococcal associated diseases, such as acute rheumatic fever (ARF), an assay capable of determining antibodies responses to multiple antigens would be of great advantage. We have developed a microsphere based, multiplexed immunoassay for the simultaneous quantitation of antibodies to nine different extracellular, ARF related tissue and group A streptococci specific antigens using only 5 microl of sample. Through the selection of microspheres and serum diluent, non-specific antibody binding was reduced by 17%. Different formulations of the coupling buffer were found to greatly influence the efficiency of coupling antigens to the carboxylated microspheres. Monoclonal antibodies against the different antigens demonstrated assay specificity as well as sensitivities of less than 1 ng/ml of antibody. This multiplexed assay should be a powerful research and clinical tool in determining antibody responses to group A streptococcal infections and in potentially determining the role of a variety of cross-reactive antigens in rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease.

Mashego MR, van Gulik WM, Vinke JL, Visser D, Heijnen JJ (2006) In vivo kinetics with rapid perturbation experiments in Saccharomyces cerevisiae using a second-generation BioScope. Metab Eng 8 :370-383


We present a robust second-generation BioScope : a system for continuous perturbation experiments. Firstly, the BioScope design parameters (i.e., pressure drop, overall oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) mass transfer, mean residence time distribution and plug flow characteristics) were evaluated. The average overall mass transfer coefficients were estimated to be 1.8E-5 m s(-1) for O2 and 0.34E-5 m s(-1) for CO2. It was determined that the O2/CO2 permeable membrane accounted for 75% and 95% of the overall resistance for O2 and CO2, respectively. The Peclet number (Pe) of the system was found to be >500 for liquid flow rates between 1 and 4 ml min(-1), ensuring plug flow characteristics. Secondly, steady-state intracellular metabolite concentrations obtained using direct rapid sampling from the fermentor were compared with those obtained by rapid sampling via the pre-perturbation sample port of the BioScope. With both methods the same metabolite levels were obtained. Thirdly, glucose perturbation experiments were carried out directly in the fermentor as well as in the BioScope, whereby steady-state Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells from a glucose/ethanol limited chemostat were perturbed by increasing the extracellular glucose concentration from 0.11 to 2.8 mM. Intracellular and extracellular metabolite levels were measured within a time window of 180 s. It was observed that the dynamic metabolite concentration profiles obtained from both perturbations were nearly the same, with the exception of the C4 metabolites of the TCA cycle, which might be due to differences in culture age.

Maskow T, Muller S, Losche A, Harms H, Kemp R (2006) Control of continuous polyhydroxybutyrate synthesis using calorimetry and flow cytometry. Biotechnol Bioeng 93 :541-552


The substrate-carbon flow can be controlled in continuous bioreactor cultures by the medium composition, for example, by the C/N ratio. The carbon distribution is optimal when a maximum fraction flows into the desired product and the residual is just sufficient to compensate for the dilution of the microbial catalyst. Undershooting of the latter condition is reflected immediately by changes in the Gibbs energy dissipation and cellular states. Two calorimetric measurement principles were applied to optimize the continuous synthesis of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) by Variovorax paradoxus DSM4065 during growth with constantly increasing supply rates of fructose or toxic phenol. Firstly, the changed slope of the heat production rate in a complete heat balanced bioreactor (CHB) indicated optimum carbon channeling into PHB. The extent of the alteration depended directly on the toxic properties of the substrate. Secondly, a flow through calorimeter was connected with the bioreactor as a "measurement loop." The optimum substrate carbon distribution was indicated by a sudden change in the heat production rate independent of substrate toxicity. The sudden change was explained mathematically and exploited for the long-term control of phenol conversion into PHB. LASER flow cytometry measurements distinguished between subpopulations with completely different PHB-content. Populations grown on fructose preserved a constant ratio of two subpopulations with double and quadruple sets of DNA. Cells grown on phenol comprised a third subpopulation with a single DNA set. Rising phenol concentrations caused this subpopulation to increase. It may thus be considered as an indicator of chemostress.

Mattanovich D, Borth N (2006) Applications of cell sorting in biotechnology. Microb Cell Fact 5 :12


Due to its unique capability to analyze a large number of single cells for several parameters simultaneously, flow cytometry has changed our understanding of the behavior of cells in culture and of the population dynamics even of clonal populations. The potential of this method for biotechnological research, which is based on populations of living cells, was soon appreciated. Sorting applications, however, are still less frequent than one would expect with regard to their potential. This review highlights important contributions where flow cytometric cell sorting was used for physiological research, protein engineering, cell engineering, specifically emphasizing selection of overproducing cell lines. Finally conclusions are drawn concerning the impact of cell sorting on inverse metabolic engineering and systems biology.

Melin P, Hakansson S, Eberhard TH, Schnurer J (2006) Survival of the biocontrol yeast Pichia anomala after long-term storage in liquid formulations at different temperatures, assessed by flow cytometry. J Appl Microbiol 100 :264-271


AIMS : Investigate the survival of liquid formulations of the biocontrol yeast Pichia anomala J121 at different temperatures, and develop a system for comparative studies of different storage conditions and formulations. METHODS AND RESULTS : The survival of P. anomala in liquid formulations with lactose, starch and trehalose amendments was measured during prolonged storage at temperatures ranging from -20 to +30 degrees C. The relative survival of the stored cells was rapidly estimated by flow cytometry. After 4 weeks incubation at 4 and 10 degrees C, 75-90% of the cells were viable, with no significant differences between the various formulations. Supplementing the storage buffer with lactose or trehalose increased the survival after longer incubations (8 and 12 weeks) at all temperatures (-20 to 30 degrees C). Trehalose was the most effective protectant at 20 and 30 degrees C (>20% viable cells after 12 weeks at 20 degrees C). The biocontrol activity was maintained after formulation and prolonged storage of P. anomala. CONCLUSIONS : The storage potential of liquid formulated P. anomala cells can be increased by supplementation with lactose or trehalose. The combination of a custom made incubation chamber and flow cytometry was suitable to evaluate stability of P. anomala formulations. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY : Liquid formulated P. anomala have a long shelf life. The developed test system can be used to study different formulations of other biocontrol agents.

Mendes-Giannini MJ, Andreotti PF, Vincenzi LR, da Silva JL, Lenzi HL, Benard G, Zancope-Oliveira R, de Matos Guedes HL, Soares CP (2006) Binding of extracellular matrix proteins to Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. Microbes Infect 8 :1550-1559


Adhesion to extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins plays a crucial role in invasive fungal diseases. ECM proteins bind to the surface of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis yeast cells in distinct qualitative patterns. Extracts from Pb18 strain, before (18a) and after animal inoculation (18b), exhibited differential adhesion to ECM components. Pb18b extract had a higher capacity for binding to ECM components than Pb18a. Laminin was the most adherent component for both samples, followed by type I collagen, fibronectin, and type IV collagen for Pb18b. A remarkable difference was seen in the interaction of the two extracts with fibronectin and their fragments. Pb18b extract interacted significantly with the 120-kDa fragment. Ligand affinity binding assays showed that type I collagen recognized two components (47 and 80kDa) and gp43 bound both fibronectin and laminin. The peptide 1 (NLGRDAKRHL) from gp43, with several positively charged amino acids, contributed most to the adhesion of P. brasiliensis to Vero cells. Synthetic peptides derived from peptide YIGRS of laminin or from RGD of both laminin and fibronectin showed the greatest inhibition of adhesion of gp43 to Vero cells. In conclusion, this work provided new molecular details on the interaction between P. brasiliensis and ECM components.

Menge C, Eisenberg T, Stamm I, Baljer G (2006) Comparison of binding and effects of Escherichia coli Shiga toxin 1 on bovine and ovine granulocytes. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 113 :392-403


Granulocytes play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) related diseases in humans. Granulocytes are attracted and activated by Stxs in the enteric mucosa and are believed to thereby contribute to the intestinal inflammation. Mature ruminants, the main reservoir hosts of STEC, do not develop pathological changes that can be attributed to the Stxs. To prove whether the latter phenomenon correlates with the inability of the Stxs to affect granulocytes of ruminants, we investigated the ability of Stx1 to bind to granulocytes of cattle and sheep and analysed the effects of Stx1 on viability, phagocytosis, and oxidative burst activity. Bovine granulocytes from blood and milk did not express Stx1-binding sites even after activation of the cells and also were resistant to Stx1. In contrast to bovine granulocytes, granulocytes of sheep constitutively expressed Stx1-receptors of the Gb(3)/CD77 type ex vivo and bound the recombinant B-subunit of Stx1 (rStxB1). Stx1 holotoxin induced apoptosis in ovine granulocytes after prolonged incubation (18h) but Stx1 only slightly altered the phagocytosis and oxidative burst activities. The rStxB1 had no effect on granulocytes of either species. While arguing in favour of our initial hypothesis, that granulocytes of both, cattle and sheep are not activated by Stxs, the results of our study are the first evidences for differences in the cellular distribution of Stx-receptors in species equally regarded as STEC carriers.

Mock DJ, Strathmann F, Blumberg BM, Mayer-Proschel M (2006) Infection of murine oligodendroglial precursor cells with Human Herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6)—establishment of a murine in vitro model. J Clin Virol 37 Suppl 1 :S17-23


BACKGROUND : Human Herpesvirus 6 was previously demonstrated to infect human oligodendroglial precursor cells (OPCs) in vitro causing cell cycle arrest and premature differentiation with consequent loss of the precursor pool. OBJECTIVES : To develop an in vitro murine OPC model to study the cell cycle and differentiation effects of HHV-6 in more readily available, genetically well-defined cells free of the risk of contamination with human herpesviruses. STUDY DESIGN : Murine OPCs were exposed to infectious HHV-6A or HHV-6B and analyzed for production of viral transcripts, particles, and replicating virus. FACS analysis and specific markers were used to evaluate effects on cell cycling and differentiation. RESULTS : HHV-6 infection of murine OPCs resulted in production of both immediate-early and some late transcripts but no replicating virus by TaqMan quantitative PCR or electron microscopy. Both a specific G1/S cell cycle arrest and premature loss of OPCs through differentiation into oligodendrocytes as previously seen with human precursors were recapitulated. CONCLUSIONS : Infection of murine OPCs by HHV-6 reproduces the critical phenotypes of cell cycle arrest and altered differentiation seen in human cells. The murine system provides a highly defined, accessible, and reproducible source of cells permitting the elucidation of specific viral and cell cycle genes involved in CNS viral infections of OPCs.

Mohr H, Lambrecht B, Bayer A, Spengler HP, Nicol SB, Montag T, Muller TH (2006) Basics of flow cytometry-based sterility testing of platelet concentrates. Transfusion 46 :41-49


BACKGROUND : Flow cytometry (FACS) is a common technique in blood banking. It is used, for example, for the enumeration of residual white blood cells in plasma and in cellular blood products. It was investigated whether it can also be applied for sterility testing of buffy coat-derived platelet concentrates (PCs). STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS : Plasma-reduced PCs were spiked with bacteria and stored at 20 to 24 or 37 degrees C for various times. The following 10 species were used : Bacillus cereus, Enterobacter cloacae, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Propionibacterium acnes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Serratia marcescens, and Yersinia enterocolitica. Bacterial DNA was stained with thiazole orange. After the platelets were lysed, bacteria were enumerated by FACS. RESULTS : All bacteria species used were detectable by FACS. The lower detection limit was approximately 100 bacteria per microL, that is, 10(5) per mL. In general, the titers measured were 1.2- to 3-fold higher than those determined by colony forming assay. In one case (K. pneumoniae) in which the dot plot of the bacteria cloud overlapped with that of bacteria debris, they were consistently lower. When PC samples were inoculated with approximately 1 colony-forming unit per mL of bacteria and kept at 37 degrees C, most species were detected within 21 hours or less. Exceptions were E. cloacae and P. acnes, which were detected after 24 to 40 and 64 hours, respectively. At 20 to 24 degrees C, the detection times were strongly prolonged. CONCLUSION : Sterility testing of PCs by FACS is a feasible approach. The present data suggest incubating PC samples for 20 to 24 hours at 37 degrees C before testing. For slow-growing bacteria, the incubation period must be prolonged by 1 to 2 days.

Mohr H, Lambrecht B, Bayer A, Spengler HP, Nicol SB, Montag T, Muller TH (2006) Sterility testing of platelet concentrates prepared from deliberately infected blood donations. Transfusion 46 :486-491


BACKGROUND : In general the bacterial count in freshly donated blood is low and even lower in the corresponding platelet concentrates (PCs). By use of flow cytometry (FACS) for sterility testing, the reliability of early versus later sampling times was evaluated. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS : Blood donations were spiked with various numbers of Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. The corresponding PCs were prepared by the buffy-coat method and stored at 22 degrees C. A 20-mL sample was collected from each PC directly after preparation and after 8 hours. Samples were stored at 35 degrees C. Sterility testing of both PCs and samples was by FACS analysis at different time points. RESULTS : All stored PCs were found positive by FACS analysis, with detection times ranging between 8 and 24 hours (K. pneumoniae, B. cereus), 8 and 91 hours (S. aureus), and 144 hours (S. epidermidis). In the samples incubated at 35 degrees C, bacteria were detected after 8 to 19 hours (K. pneumoniae, B. cereus), 8 to 67 hours (S. aureus), and 19 to 43 hours (S. epidermidis). Some of the samples did not contain bacteria. CONCLUSION : Detection times for slow-growing bacteria are significantly shortened when PC samples are incubated at 35 degrees C : the numbers of bacteria in freshly prepared PCs may, however, be so low that the samples drawn for sterility testing do not contain a single bacterium. Our results do not support a shortening of the 24-hour or greater sampling time recommended by the manufacturers of established test systems, because also for consistent detection by FACS, bacteria need to grow in the PCs to sufficient numbers.

Moraes TJ, Plumb J, Martin R, Vachon E, Cherepanov V, Koh A, Loeve C, Jongstra-Bilen J, Zurawska JH, Kus JV, Burrows LL, Grinstein S, Downey GP (2006) Abnormalities in the pulmonary innate immune system in cystic fibrosis. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 34 :364-374


Pulmonary infection is the dominant clinical feature of cystic fibrosis (CF), but the basis for this susceptibility remains incompletely understood. One hypothesis is that CF airway surface liquid (ASL) is abnormal and interferes with neutrophil function. To study this possibility, we developed an in vitro system in which we collected ASL from primary cultures of normal and CF airway epithelial cells. Microbial killing was less efficient when bacteria were incubated with neutrophils in the presence of ASL from CF epithelia compared with normal ASL. Antimicrobial functions of human neutrophils were assessed in ASL from CF and normal epithelia using a combination of quantitative bacterial culture, flow cytometry, and microfluorescence imaging. The results of these assays of neutrophil function were indistinguishable in CF and normal ASL. In contrast, the direct bactericidal activity of ASL to Escherichia coli and to clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa was substantially less in CF than in normal ASL, even when highly diluted in media of identical ionic strength. Together, these observations indicate that the antimicrobial properties of ASL in CF are compromised in a manner independent of ionic strength of the ASL, and that this effect is not mediated through a direct effect of the ASL on phagocyte function.

Mueller S, Saunier K, Hanisch C, Norin E, Alm L, Midtvedt T, Cresci A, Silvi S, Orpianesi C, Verdenelli MC, Clavel T, Koebnick C, Zunft HJ, Dore J, Blaut M (2006) Differences in fecal microbiota in different European study populations in relation to age, gender, and country : a cross-sectional study. Appl Environ Microbiol 72 :1027-1033


A cross-sectional study on intestinal microbiota composition was performed on 230 healthy subjects at four European locations in France, Germany, Italy, and Sweden. The study participants were assigned to two age groups : 20 to 50 years (mean age, 35 years ; n = 85) and >60 years (mean age, 75 years ; n = 145). A set of 14 group- and species-specific 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes was applied to the analysis of fecal samples by fluorescence in situ hybridization coupled with flow cytometry. Marked country-age interactions were observed for the German and Italian study groups. These interactions were inverse for the predominant bacterial groups Eubacterium rectale-Clostridium coccoides and Bacteroides-Prevotella. Differences between European populations were observed for the Bifidobacterium group only. Proportions of bifidobacteria were two- to threefold higher in the Italian study population than in any other study group, and this effect was independent of age. Higher proportions of enterobacteria were found in all elderly volunteers independent of the location. Gender effects were observed for the Bacteroides-Prevotella group, with higher levels in males than in females. In summary, age-related differences in the microbiota makeup were detected but differed between the study populations from the four countries, each showing a characteristic colonization pattern.

Musovic S, Oregaard G, Kroer N, Sorensen SJ (2006) Cultivation-independent examination of horizontal transfer and host range of an IncP-1 plasmid among gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria indigenous to the barley rhizosphere. Appl Environ Microbiol 72 :6687-6692


The host range and transfer frequency of an IncP-1 plasmid (pKJK10) among indigenous bacteria in the barley rhizosphere was investigated. A new flow cytometry-based cultivation-independent method for enumeration and sorting of transconjugants for subsequent 16S rRNA gene classification was used. Indigenous transconjugant rhizosphere bacteria were collected by fluorescence-activated cell sorting and identified by cloning and sequencing of 16S rRNA genes from the sorted cells. The host range of the pKJK10 plasmid was exceptionally broad, as it included not only bacteria belonging to the alpha, beta, and gamma subclasses of the Proteobacteria, but also Arthrobacter sp., a gram-positive member of the Actinobacteria. The transfer frequency (transconjugants per donor) from the Pseudomonas putida donor to the indigenous bacteria was 7.03 x 10(-2) +/- 3.84 x 10(-2). This is the first direct documentation of conjugal transfer between gram-negative donor and gram-positive recipient bacteria in situ.

Norman A, Hansen LH, Sorensen SJ (2006) A flow cytometry-optimized assay using an SOS-green fluorescent protein (SOS-GFP) whole-cell biosensor for the detection of genotoxins in complex environments. Mutat Res 603 :164-172


Whole-cell biosensors have become popular tools for detection of ecotoxic compounds in environmental samples. We have developed an assay optimized for flow cytometry with detection of genotoxic compounds in mind. The assay features extended pre-incubation and a cell density of only 10(6)-10(7) cells/mL, and proved far more sensitive than a previously published assay using the same biosensor strain. By applying the SOS-green fluorescent protein (GFP) whole-cell biosensor directly to soil microcosms we were also able to evaluate both the applicability and sensitivity of a biosensor based on SOS-induction in whole soil samples. Soil microcosms were spiked with a dilution-series of crude broth extract from the mitomycin C-producing streptomycete Streptomyces caespitosus. Biosensors extracted from these microcosms after 1 day of incubation at 30 degrees C were easily distinguished from extracts of non-contaminated soil particles when using flow cytometry, and induction of the biosensor by mitomycin C was detectable at concentrations as low as 2.5 ng/g of soil.

Odeberg J, Wolmer N, Falci S, Westgren M, Seiger A, Soderberg-Naucler C (2006) Human cytomegalovirus inhibits neuronal differentiation and induces apoptosis in human neural precursor cells. J Virol 80 :8929-8939


Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is the most common cause of congenital infections in developed countries, with an incidence varying between 0.5 and 2.2% and consequences varying from asymptomatic infection to lethal conditions for the fetus. Infants that are asymptomatic at birth may still develop neurological sequelae, such as hearing loss and mental retardation, at a later age. Infection of neural stem and precursor cells by HCMV and consequent disruption of the proliferation, differentiation, and/or migration of these cells may be the primary mechanism underlying the development of brain abnormalities. In the present investigation, we demonstrate that human neural precursor cells (NPCs) are permissive for HCMV infection, by both the laboratory strain Towne and the clinical isolate TB40, resulting in 55% and 72% inhibition of induced differentiation of human NPCs into neurons, respectively, when infection occurred at the onset of differentiation. This repression of neuronal differentiation required active viral replication and involved the expression of late HCMV gene products. This capacity of HCMV to prevent neuronal differentiation declined within 24 h after initiation of differentiation. Furthermore, the rate of cell proliferation in infected cultures was attenuated. Surprisingly, HCMV-infected cells exhibited an elevated frequency of apoptosis at 7 days following the onset of differentiation, at which time approximately 50% of the cells were apoptotic at a multiplicity of infection of 10. These findings indicate that HCMV has the capacity to reduce the ability of human NPCs to differentiate into neurons, which may offer one explanation for the abnormalities in brain development associated with congenital HCMV infection.

Ohta M, Watanabe A, Mikami T, Nakajima Y, Kitami M, Tabunoki H, Ueda K, Sato R (2006) Mechanism by which Bombyx mori hemocytes recognize microorganisms : direct and indirect recognition systems for PAMPs. Dev Comp Immunol 30 :867-877


Hemocytes play an important role in cellular reactions in the immune system. Although the recognition of pathogens is thought to involve pattern-recognition proteins (PRPs) in insects, the exact mechanisms by which insect hemocytes recognize pathogens are not clear. This study examined the mechanism by which Bombyx mori hemocytes recognize microorganisms and pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) using flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. Fluorescence-labeled bacterial or fungal cells were observed to bind to hemocytes and this binding was inhibited by adding lipoteichoic acid (LTA) or beta-1,3-glucan. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) bound to hemocytes directly. These results suggest that hemocytes have a mechanism that recognizes LPS, LTA, and beta-1,3-glucan directly. Previously, we identified two types of C-type lectin (BmLBP and BmMBP) and showed that they recognize a variety of PAMPs leading to the induction of nodule formation. These lectins enhanced hemocyte binding to microorganisms and their direct binding to hemocytes suggests that hemocytes have a mechanism for recognizing microorganisms using lectin receptors.

Ordax M, Marco-Noales E, Lopez MM, Biosca EG (2006) Survival strategy of Erwinia amylovora against copper : induction of the viable-but-nonculturable state. Appl Environ Microbiol 72 :3482-3488


Copper compounds, widely used to control plant-pathogenic bacteria, have traditionally been employed against fire blight, caused by Erwinia amylovora. However, recent studies have shown that some phytopathogenic bacteria enter into the viable-but-nonculturable (VBNC) state in the presence of copper. To determine whether copper kills E. amylovora or induces the VBNC state, a mineral medium without copper or supplemented with 0.005, 0.01, or 0.05 mM Cu(2+) was inoculated with 10(7) CFU/ml of this bacterium and monitored over 9 months. Total and viable cell counts were determined by epifluorescence microscopy using the LIVE/DEAD kit and by flow cytometry with 5-cyano-2,3-ditolyl tetrazolium chloride and SYTO 13. Culturable cells were counted on King’s B nonselective solid medium. Changes in the bacterial morphology in the presence of copper were observed by scanning electron microscopy. E. amylovora entered into the VBNC state at all three copper concentrations assayed, much faster when the copper concentration increased. The addition of different agents which complex copper allowed the resuscitation (restoration of culturability) of copper-induced VBNC cells. Finally, copper-induced VBNC cells were virulent only for the first 5 days, while resuscitated cells always regained their pathogenicity on immature fruits over 9 months. These results have shown, for the first time, the induction of the VBNC state in E. amylovora as a survival strategy against copper.

Park SG, Jung YJ, Lee YY, Yang CM, Kim IJ, Chung JH, Kim IS, Lee YJ, Park SJ, Lee JN, Seo SK, Park YH, Choi IH (2006) Improvement of neutralizing activity of human scFv antibodies against hepatitis B virus binding using CDR3 V(H) mutant library. Viral Immunol 19 :115-123


CDR3 of the heavy-chain variable region of immunoglobulin is a region in which somatic mutation occurs heavily after secondary antibody response, resulting in an affinity maturation of antibodies in vivo. The aim of this study was to improve the affinity of a human single-chain variable fragment (scFv) specific for pre-S1 of hepatitis B virus (HBV) by introducing random mutagenesis in CDR3 variable region of heavy chain (V(H)) of the parental scFv clone 1E4. By using a BIAcore for panning and screening, we have selected three clones (A9, B2, and B9) with lower highest affinity (K(D)) than 1E4. Affinities of selected clones ranged from 1.7 x 10(7) mol/L to 6.3 x 10(8) mol/L, which were increased by factors of 1.4 to 4.0, respectively, compared to the parental clone. Binding inhibition assay using flow cytometry and polymerase chain reaction revealed that B2 (6.4 x 10(8) mol/L) had a higher neutralizing activity against pre-S1 or HBV virion binding to liver cell line. This anti-pre-S1 scFv can be considered as a potential therapeutic tool for a passive immunotherapy for HBV infection.

Pavlostathis SG, Marchant R, Banat IM, Ternan NG, McMullan G (2006) High growth rate and substrate exhaustion results in rapid cell death and lysis in the thermophilic bacterium Geobacillus thermoleovorans. Biotechnol Bioeng 95 :84-95


Batch cultures of the thermophilic bacterium Geobacillus thermoleovorans T80 attained extremely high-specific glucose utilization rates leading to high specific growth rates, followed by extensive cell death and lysis with the onset of substrate exhaustion. The dramatic decrease in live cell numbers, as determined by flow cytometry, was accompanied by the release of soluble protein. Once the growth phase reached the point of commitment to lysis created by the impending exhaustion of substrate, the addition of extra carbon substrate did not halt the rapid death rate and lysis, although, towards the end of the exponential growth phase, the substrate was utilized producing only a small additional biomass concentration as a result of the net effect of cell growth and death. This lytic phenomenon was observed when a range of different carbon substrates (glucose, pyruvate, acetate, n-hexadecane, nutrient broth), as well as ammonium (the nitrogen source) in the presence of excess carbon source, reached near exhaustion. The rate and extent of cell death and the ensuing lysis depend on the culture growth rate. Cultures batch grown with a lower initial substrate concentration, or at a lower temperature, or at lower dilution rates for continuous-flow cultures, exhibited a lower rate and extent of cell death and lysis. Batch re-culture of the persister cells resulted in a behavior identical to that of the original culture indicating that these cells were not genetically modified. The glucose utilization, cell growth and death rates were mathematically described based on Monod kinetics and estimated values of pertinent biokinetic constants are reported.

Perez OD, Nolan GP (2006) Phospho-proteomic immune analysis by flow cytometry : from mechanism to translational medicine at the single-cell level. Immunol Rev 210 :208-228


Understanding a molecular basis for cellular function is a common goal of biomedicine. The complex and dynamic cellular processes underlying physiological processes become subtly or grossly perturbed in human disease. A primary objective is to demystify this complexity by creating and establishing relevant model systems to study important aspects of human disease. Although significant technological advancements over the last decade in both genomic and proteomic arenas have enabled progress, accessing the complexity of cellular interactions that occur in vivo has been a difficult arena in which to make progress. Moreover, there are extensive challenges in translating research tools to clinical applications. Flow cytometry, over the course of the last 40 years, has revolutionized the field of immunology, in both the basic science and clinical settings, as well as having been instrumental to new and exciting areas of discovery such as stem cell biology. Multiparameter machinery and systems exist now to access the heterogeneity of cellular subsets and enable phenotypic characterization and functional assays to be performed on material from both animal models and humans. This review focuses primarily on the development and application of using activation-state readouts of intracellular activity for phospho-epitopes. We present recent work on how a flow cytometric platform is used to obtain mechanistic insight into cellular processes as well as highlight the clinical applications that our laboratory has explored. Furthermore, this review discusses the challenges faced with processing high-content multidimensional and multivariate data sets. Flow cytometry, as a platform that is well situated in both the research and clinical settings, can contribute to drug discovery as well as having utility for both biomarker and patient-stratification.

Permpanich P, Kowolik MJ, Galli DM (2006) Resistance of fluorescent-labelled Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans strains to phagocytosis and killing by human neutrophils. Cell Microbiol 8 :72-84


Neutrophils are initially the predominant cells involved in the host defence of bacterial infections, including periodontal disease. Aggressive periodontitis is associated with Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, a Gram-negative capnophilic microorganism. Infections caused by A. actinomycetemcomitans are not resolved by the host immune response despite the accumulation of neutrophils at the site of inflammation. To better understand the role of natural host defence mechanisms in A. actinomycetemcomitans infections, the interaction of phenotypically diverse strains of this pathogen with human neutrophils was assessed directly using techniques such as genetic labelling with the gene for green fluorescent protein, fluorescence-activated cell sorting and fluorescence imaging. The study included clinical isolates of A. actinomycetemcomitans represented by self-aggregating, biofilm-associated and isogenic planktonic variants. Data obtained showed that complement-mediated phagocytosis of A. actinomycetemcomitans was generally inefficient regardless of strain-specific serotype or leukotoxin production. Furthermore, the majority of ingested bacteria remained viable after exposure to neutrophils for 1 h. Interestingly, uptake of antibody-opsonized bacteria resulted in the rapid cell death of neutrophils. This was in contrast to ingestion of complement-opsonized bacteria, which did not affect neutrophil viability. The methods used in this study provided reliable and reproducible results with respect to adherence, phagocytosis and killing of A. actinomycetemcomitans when encountering human neutrophils.

Petersson C, Forsberg M, Aspholm M, Olfat FO, Forslund T, Boren T, Magnusson KE (2006) Helicobacter pylori SabA adhesin evokes a strong inflammatory response in human neutrophils which is down-regulated by the neutrophil-activating protein. Med Microbiol Immunol 195 :195-206


The human pathogen Helicobacter pylori expresses two dominant adhesins ; the Lewis b blood group antigen binding adhesin, BabA, and the sialic acid-binding adhesin, SabA. These adhesins recognize specific carbohydrate moieties of the gastric epithelium, i.e. the Lewis b antigen, Le(b), and the sialyl-Lewis x antigen, sLe(x), respectively, which promote infection and inflammatory processes in the gastroduodenal tract. To assess the contribution of each of BabA, SabA and the neutrophil activating protein (HP-NAP) in a local inflammation, we investigated the traits of H. pylori mutants in their capacity to interact with and stimulate human neutrophils. We thence found that the SabA adhesin was not only the key inducer of oxidative metabolism (Unemo et al. J Biol Chem 280:15390-15397, 2005), but also essential in phagocytosis induction, as evaluated by flow cytometry, fluorescence microscopy and luminol-enhanced chemiluminescence. The napA deletion resulted in enhanced generation of reactive oxygen species and impaired adherence to the host cells. In conclusion, the SabA adhesin stimulates human neutrophils through selectin-mimicry. Interestingly, HP-NAP modulates the oxidative burst, which could tune the impact of the H. pylori infection for establishment of balanced and chronic inflammation of the gastric mucosa.

Pils S, Schmitter T, Neske F, Hauck CR (2006) Quantification of bacterial invasion into adherent cells by flow cytometry. J Microbiol Methods 65 :301-310


Quantification of invasive, intracellular bacteria is critical in many areas of cellular microbiology and immunology. We describe a novel and fast approach to determine invasion of bacterial pathogens in adherent cell types such as epithelial cells or fibroblasts based on flow cytometry. Using the CEACAM-mediated uptake of Opa-expressing Neisseria gonorrhoeae as a well-characterized model of bacterial invasion, we demonstrate that the flow cytometry-based method yields results comparable to a standard antibiotic protection assay. Furthermore, the quantification of intracellular bacteria by the novel approach is not biased by intracellular killing of the microbes and correctly discriminates between cell-associated extracellular and bona fide intracellular bacteria. As flow cytometry-based quantification is also applicable to other pathogen-host interactions such as the integrin-mediated internalization of Staphylococcus aureus, this approach provides a fast and convenient alternative for the quantification of bacterial uptake and should be particularly useful in elucidating the molecular mechanisms of pathogen-triggered host cell invasion.

Popadic S, Popadic D, Ramic Z, Mostarica Stojkovic M, Trajkovic V, Milinkovic M, Medenica L (2006) Chloramphenicol induces in vitro growth arrest and apoptosis of human keratinocytes. Cell Biol Toxicol 22 :371-379


Chloramphenicol (CAP) is a broad-spectrum antibacterial drug that is widely used for topical application in ophthalmology and dermatology. In the present study we investigated the influence of CAP on human keratinocyte proliferation and apoptosis in vitro. CAP significantly inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis of cultivated human keratinocytes, as revealed by incorporation of radioactive thymidine and flow cytometry analysis of intracellular esterase activity in fluorescein diacetate-stained cells, respectively. CAP-induced keratinocyte apoptosis was associated with activation of caspases and increased production of reactive oxygen species. The pro-apoptotic action of CAP was antagonized by the antioxidant agent N-acetylcysteine, the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide, and PD98059, a selective inhibitor of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation. Taken together, these data indicate that CAP inhibits keratinocyte proliferation through induction of oxidative stress and ERK-mediated caspase-dependent apoptosis.

Quin LR, Onwubiko C, Carmicle S, McDaniel LS (2006) Interaction of clinical isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae with human complement factor H. FEMS Microbiol Lett 264 :98-103


PspC recruits complement factor H (FH) to the pneumococcal surface. While there is differential expression of pspC during infection, detection of PspC on the surface of viable pneumococci is difficult due to variability among PspCs. We analyzed FH binding to detect PspC expression on the surface of pneumococcal isolates from different pathological sources. Using flow cytometry, we investigated FH-binding to 89 low-passage clinical isolates classified by disease manifestation (systemic, mucosal, or carriage). Carriage isolates recruited significantly more FH to their surfaces than either systemic or mucosal isolates, and this binding was independent of capsular serotype.

Rambeaud M, Clift R, Pighetti GM (2006) Association of a bovine CXCR2 gene polymorphism with neutrophil survival and killing ability. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 111 :231-238


Recent research in our lab has demonstrated a significant association between the incidence of subclinical mastitis and specific polymorphisms of the CXCR2 gene in Holstein dairy cows. This gene encodes a receptor for interleukin-8 (IL-8), a key regulator of neutrophil migration, killing and survival. Because of the importance of this gene in neutrophil function, we hypothesized that differences in neutrophil killing and survival may exist among the CXCR2 genotypes and potentially contribute to the observed variation in intramammary infections. To test this hypothesis, neutrophils were isolated from cows representing each CXCR2 +777 genotype (GG, GC or CC) and tested for suppression of apoptosis, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, glutathione levels, and bactericidal activity. A significant increase in survival was observed in neutrophils from cows with a CC genotype when compared to those with a GG genotype in response to IL-8, but not dexamethasone. In contrast, a significant reduction in neutrophil ROS generation in response to phorbol-13-myristate-12 acetate (PMA) was observed in cows with a CC genotype when compared to those with a GG genotype. However, no differences in bactericidal activity or glutathione levels were observed among genotypes. The functional activity of neutrophils from cows heterozygous for this polymorphism was intermediate between those with homozygous genotypes for those assays where differences were observed among homozygous genotypes. In summary, our results suggest that neutrophils from Holstein cows with different CXCR2 genotypes vary in their ability to suppress apoptosis and produce ROS. These differences have the potential to influence overall neutrophil function and may partially explain the variation observed with respect to mastitis in vivo. These results provide a foundation for future research aimed at better understanding the basic differences between dairy cows genetically more or less susceptible to mastitis and has the potential to provide novel preventive and therapeutic measures against inflammatory diseases such as mastitis.

Reed SE, Staley EM, Mayginnes JP, Pintel DJ, Tullis GE (2006) Transfection of mammalian cells using linear polyethylenimine is a simple and effective means of producing recombinant adeno-associated virus vectors. J Virol Methods 138 :85-98


We have developed a simple protocol to transfect mammalian cells using linear polyethylenimine (PEI). Our linear PEI protocol is as effective as commercial reagents in the transfection of HeLa cells and XDC293 cells, a derivative of HEK293 cells, but at a fraction of the cost. Greater than 90% of XDC293 cells and 98% of HeLa cells transfected using our method were positive for EGFP expression as determined by flow cytometery. Our protocol should be useful for many different applications such as large-scale production of recombinant protein and viruses, which requires transient transfection of mammalian cells in large batches. We have used this protocol to produce recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) in XDC293 cells and in HeLa cells. This requires transient expression of three adenovirus gene-products (E2A, E4orf6, and VA RNAs) as well as the AAV replication (Rep78, Rep68, Rep52, and Rep40) and capsid (VP1, VP2, and VP3) proteins. Production of a recombinant AAV that expresses green fluorescent protein was assessed by quantitative PCR and by transduction of HeLa cells. Linear PEI is a better transfection reagent than calcium phosphate for the production of recombinant AAV in both HEK293 and HeLa cells. In addition, when both HeLa and XDC293 cells were by our method, HeLa cells in the absence of E1A generated three-fold more recombinant AAV than XDC293 cells, which constitutively express E1A.

Salazar KD, Miller MR, Barnett JB, Schafer R (2006) Evidence for a novel endocrine disruptor : the pesticide propanil requires the ovaries and steroid synthesis to enhance humoral immunity. Toxicol Sci 93 :62-74


Steroid hormones are known to affect the humoral immune response to a variety of antigens. However, the mechanisms regulating these effects are poorly understood. The immunotoxic chemical propanil and estrogen have similar effects on the immune system including augmentation of humoral immune responses. Propanil enhances the number of phosphorylcholine (PC)-specific IgG2b, IgG3, and IgM antibody-secreting cells (ASCs) in the spleen four- to sixfold 7 days after vaccination of female C57BL/6 mice with heat-killed Streptococcus pneumoniae. Several experiments were performed to test the hypothesis that propanil increases the response via an estrogenic pathway. Ovariectomy abrogated the effect of propanil on the PC-specific ASC response. Both in vitro and in vivo assays indicate that propanil does not bind either estrogen receptor (ER) alpha or beta. Exogenous estradiol administration in ovariectomized mice failed to restore the effect of propanil on the PC response. Treatment of female mice with a pure ER antagonist, ICI 182,780, or the progesterone antagonist RU486 did not inhibit the increase in ASCs. These data suggest that estrogen and progesterone do not regulate the effect of propanil. However, complete inhibition of steroid synthesis with the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist antide abrogated the increased response in propanil-treated mice, indicating a necessary role for steroid synthesis. Experiments in male mice demonstrated that propanil increased the number of ASCs comparable to female mice. However, orchiectomy did not inhibit this effect, suggesting that androgens do not regulate the amplification of the humoral response. These data suggest a novel role for the ovarian hormones in the regulation of the PC-specific antibody response.

Salinas I, Diaz-Rosales P, Cuesta A, Meseguer J, Chabrillon M, Morinigo MA, Esteban MA (2006) Effect of heat-inactivated fish and non-fish derived probiotics on the innate immune parameters of a teleost fish (Sparus aurata L.). Vet Immunol Immunopathol 111 :279-286


The in vitro effects of four heat-inactivated bacterial species on the cellular innate immune responses of the gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata L.) were investigated. Head-kidney leucocytes were isolated and incubated for 30 min with two bacteria isolated from seabream skin (Pdp11 and 51M6 ; members of the Vibrionaceae and in the genus Shewanella) and two bacteria used as probiotics in humans and cattle (Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. lactis and Bacillus subtilis) at 5 x 10(5), 5 x 10(6) or 5 x 10(7)CFU/ml. After incubation, different cellular innate immune parameters (leucocyte peroxidase content, phagocytosis, respiratory burst activity and cytotoxicity) were evaluated. The leucocyte peroxidase content was significantly higher after incubation with 51M6 at 5 x 10(7)CFU/ml. Head-kidney phagocytes were able to engulf the four bacterial species in all four cases, L. delbrueckii subsp. lactis and B. subtilis being the most actively phagocytized. The incubation of seabream leucocytes with 51M6, L. delbrueckii subsp. lactis and B. subtilis resulted in a great increase in respiratory burst activity. Cytotoxic activity was generally stimulated in a dose-dependent manner, the enhancement obtained with 5 x 10(7)CFU/ml being statistically significant. The usefulness of in vitro assays for screening and selecting candidate probiotic bacteria, as well as for optimising their effective dose, is discussed in relation with their immune-modulatory properties.

Samuelsson M, Forsgren A, Riesbeck K (2006) Purification of IgD from human serum—a novel application of recombinant M. catarrhalis IgD-binding protein (MID). J Immunol Methods 317 :31-37


Moraxella catarrhalis IgD-binding protein (MID) is a multimeric outer membrane protein belonging to the family of autotransporters. The IgD-binding domain of MID is located between amino acids MID 962-1200 and binds to amino acids 198-224 of the IgD C(H)1 region. In the present study, we describe a method to purify IgD from serum with high levels of IgD using a two-step affinity chromatography process. The first step involves depletion of MID-specific antibodies of all classes from serum using the non-IgD-binding fragment MID(1000-1200). This step is followed by selective capture of IgD with MID(962-1200). Furthermore, we demonstrate that the eluted IgD is pure, intact and functional for use in downstream applications. Our approach reduces the non-specificity commonly associated with lectin-based IgD purification regimes that rely on glycosylation of the IgD molecule.

Samuelsson M, Jendholm J, Amisten S, Morrison SL, Forsgren A, Riesbeck K (2006) The IgD CH1 region contains the binding site for the human respiratory pathogen Moraxella catarrhalis IgD-binding protein MID. Eur J Immunol 36 :2525-2534


The Moraxella catarrhalis IgD-binding protein (MID) has a unique specificity for human IgD, and the sequence with maximal IgD binding is located within the amino acids MID962-1200. In the present paper, we examined the MID binding site on IgD using a series of recombinant Ig. Full-length IgD, IgD F(ab’)2, and an IgD F(ab’) C290R mutant lacking the inter-heavy-chain cysteine 290 were manufactured. Furthermore, a series of IgD/IgG chimeras were constructed. ELISA, dot blot and flow cytometry were used to study the binding of purified Ig to native MID, recombinant MID962-1200 or to Moraxella with or without MID. MID962-1200 bound both the IgD F(ab’)2 and F(ab’) C290R, indicating that the binding occurred independently of antibody structure. When amino acids 157-224 of the IgD CH1 region were substituted with IgG sequences, binding by M. catarrhalis or recombinant MID962-1200 was abolished. Subsequent smaller substitutions of IgD CH1 157-224 with IgG sequences led us to conclude that IgD CH1 amino acids 198-206 were crucial for the interaction between MID and IgD.

Sandaa RA, Larsen A (2006) Seasonal variations in virus-host populations in Norwegian coastal waters : focusing on the cyanophage community infecting marine Synechococcus spp. Appl Environ Microbiol 72 :4610-4618


Viruses are ubiquitous components of the marine ecosystem. In the current study we investigated seasonal variations in the viral community in Norwegian coastal waters by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The results demonstrated that the viral community was diverse, displaying dynamic seasonal variation, and that viral populations of 29 different sizes in the range from 26 to 500 kb were present. Virus populations from 260 to 500 kb and dominating autotrophic pico- and nanoeukaryotes showed similar dynamic variations. Using flow cytometry and real-time PCR, we focused in particular on one host-virus system : Synechococcus spp. and cyanophages. The two groups covaried throughout the year and were found in the highest amounts in fall with concentrations of 7.3 x 10(4) Synechococcus cells ml(-1) and 7.2 x 10(3) cyanophage ml(-1). By using primers targeting the g20 gene in PCRs on DNA extracted from PFGE bands, we demonstrated that cyanophages were found in a genomic size range of 26 to 380 kb. The genetic richness of the cyanophage community, determined by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of PCR-amplified g20 gene fragments, revealed seasonal shifts in the populations, with one community dominating in spring and summer and a different one dominating in fall. Phylogenetic analysis of the sequences originating from PFGE and DGGE bands grouped the sequences into three groups, all with homology to cyanomyoviruses present in cultures. Our results show that the cyanophage community in Norwegian coastal waters is dynamic and genetically diverse and has a surprisingly wide genomic size range.

Sarmento L, Tseggai T, Dhingra V, Fu ZF (2006) Rabies virus-induced apoptosis involves caspase-dependent and caspase-independent pathways. Virus Res 121 :144-151


Previously, it has been shown that the laboratory attenuated rabies virus CVS-B2C, but not the wild-type virus SHBRV, induces apoptosis in mice and the induction of apoptosis is mediated by viral glycoprotein. Induction of apoptosis by CVS-B2C limits the spread of the virus in the CNS. In the present study, we characterized the pathways by which CVS-B2C induces apoptosis. BSR cells were infected with CVS-B2C or SHBRV and harvested at different time points for detection of apoptosis by immunofluorescence and flow cytometry. Apoptosis was detected only in cells infected with CVS-B2C, but not SHBRV. Caspase activity and expression of several apoptotic proteins were analyzed by fluorometric assay and Western blotting. Activation of caspase-8 and -3, but not of caspase-9, was observed in CVS-B2C-infected cells. In addition, the level of expression of Apaf-1 did not change. Furthermore, PARP was cleaved confirming activation of downstream caspases. All these data suggest that CVS-B2C infection activates the extrinsic, but not the intrinsic, apoptotic pathway. In addition, AIF, a caspase-independent apoptotic protein was up-regulated and translocated from the cytoplasm to the nucleus post-infection, suggesting that apoptosis induced by CVS-B2C also involves the activation of a caspase-independent pathway.

Satta A, Stivala A, Garozzo A, Morello A, Perdichizzi A, Vicari E, Salmeri M, Calogero AE (2006) Experimental Chlamydia trachomatis infection causes apoptosis in human sperm. Hum Reprod 21 :134-137


BACKGROUND : Chlamydia trachomatis is responsible for a widespread sexually transmitted infection. In men, it is associated with a wide clinical spectrum causing infertility. Furthermore, C. trachomatis serovar E infection decreases motility and increases the number of non-viable sperm. No other effects of C. trachomatis have been reported on sperm despite the crucial role of DNA integrity for sperm function. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of C. trachomatis on sperm apoptosis. METHODS : Sperm from eight normozoospermic men were incubated with increasing concentrations of C. trachomatis serovar E elementary bodies (EB) for 6 and 24 h. Sperm were then collected to evaluate phosphatidylserine (PS) membrane translocation and DNA fragmentation by Annexin V-propidium iodide staining, TUNEL assay and flow cytometry. RESULTS : After 6 h of incubation, C. trachomatis had no effect on the percentage of sperm showing PS externalization. However, a significant effect on this parameter was observed after 24 h. C. trachomatis also significantly increased the number of sperm with DNA fragmentation both after 6 and 24 h of incubation. CONCLUSIONS : C. trachomatis causes sperm PS externalization and DNA fragmentation. These effects may explain the negative direct impact of C. trachomatis infection on sperm fertilizing ability.

Schmidt M, Hourfar MK, Nicol SB, Spengler HP, Montag T, Seifried E (2006) FACS technology used in a new rapid bacterial detection method. Transfus Med 16 :355-361


Culture methods for bacterial detection (BacT/ALERT or Pall eBDS) are currently implemented in blood donor screening procedures in many countries. Experience in the first years after implementation of these detection assays showed that although the analytical sensitivity was extremely high (about 1 CFU mL(-1)), the majority of these platelets were still transfused before a positive screening result was attained. Rapid technologies were developed to more effectively prevent transfusion-transmitted bacterial infection. In this study, a new rapid bacterial detection method based on fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) technology was developed. Bacteria were stained with thiazole orange dye for 5 min and measurement was taken immediately after staining. The entire process took only 30 min. Six transfusion-relevant bacteria strains were tested in a spiking study. Without pre-incubation in a special bacteria growth medium, analytical sensitivity ranged between 10(5) CFU mL(-1) (Klebsiella oxytoca and Serratia marcesens) and 10(3) CFU mL(-1) (Escherichia coli). Sensitivity could be improved to 10(1) CFU mL(-1) for all tested bacteria by adding a pre-incubation step (6 h at 37 degrees C). Although preliminary in nature, results of our study suggest that bacterial detection by FACS technology in conjunction with a pre-incubation step offers a sensitive alternative technology to culture methods. Additionally, it provides the benefit of a rapid test time and the opportunity of preventing bacterial transmitted infections more effectively.

Schmidt M, Hourfar MK, Nicol SB, Wahl A, Heck J, Weis C, Tonn T, Spengler HP, Montag T, Seifried E, Roth WK (2006) A comparison of three rapid bacterial detection methods under simulated real-life conditions. Transfusion 46 :1367-1373


BACKGROUND : Bacterial screening of all produced platelet concentrates (PCs) is implemented in many countries to reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted sepsis. This study compares three rapid bacterial detection methods by imitating real-life conditions. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS : The sensitivity of a solid-phase scanning cytometer (optimized Scansystem, Hemosystem), fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis, and 16S RNA in-house nucleic acid testing (NAT) was evaluated by spiking PCs with four transfusion relevant bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Escherichia coli ). Two different inocula (10 colony-forming units [CFUs]/mL and 10 CFUs/bag) were used to simulate real-life conditions. Samples were taken at 12, 16, 20, and 24 hours after spiking. RESULTS : With the high inoculum, NAT had a 100 percent rate of positive testing for all four types of bacteria (10/10 replicates) at each time point. With the exception of E. coli, the sensitivity of FACS and optimized Scansystem was comparable for the high inoculum. With the low inoculum, 60 percent of E. coli, 80 percent of B. cereus, 90 percent of K. pneumoniae, and 100 percent of S. aureus were NAT-positive 12 hours after spiking. In contrast, only 20 percent of E. coli, 10 percent of B. cereus, and 70 percent of K. pneumoniae were FACS-positive with the low inoculum 12 hours after spiking. CONCLUSIONS : In summary, the preliminary data revealed a higher sensitivity for NAT in comparison to FACS and optimized Scansystem under the defined study conditions. To imitate real-life conditions, further spiking studies with a low inoculum (10 CFUs/bag) and slower growing organisms should be conducted to examine the sensitivity of available detection systems.

Schneider MC, Exley RM, Chan H, Feavers I, Kang YH, Sim RB, Tang CM (2006) Functional significance of factor H binding to Neisseria meningitidis. J Immunol 176 :7566-7575


Neisseria meningitidis is an important cause of septicemia and meningitis. To cause disease, the bacterium must successfully survive in the bloodstream where it has to avoid being killed by host innate immune mechanisms, particularly the complement system. A number of pathogenic microbes bind factor H (fH), the negative regulator of the alternative pathway of complement activation, to promote their survival in vivo. In this study, we show that N. meningitidis binds fH to its surface. Binding to serogroups A, B, and C N. meningitidis strains was detected by FACS and Far Western blot analysis, and occurred in the absence of other serum factors such as C3b. Unlike Neisseria gonorrhoeae, binding of fH to N. meningitidis was independent of sialic acid on the bacterium, either as a component of its LPS or its capsule. Characterization of the major fH binding partner demonstrated that it is a 33-kDa protein ; examination of insertion mutants showed that porins A and B, outer membrane porins expressed by N. meningitidis, do not contribute significantly to fH binding. We examined the physiological consequences of fH bound to the bacterial surface. We found that fH retains its activity as a cofactor of factor I when bound to the bacterium and contributes to the ability of N. meningitidis to avoid complement-mediated killing in the presence of human serum. Therefore, the recruitment of fH provides another mechanism by which this important human pathogen evades host innate immunity.

Schulze H, Korpal M, Hurov J, Kim SW, Zhang J, Cantley LC, Graf T, Shivdasani RA (2006) Characterization of the megakaryocyte demarcation membrane system and its role in thrombopoiesis. Blood 107 :3868-3875


To produce blood platelets, megakaryocytes elaborate proplatelets, accompanied by expansion of membrane surface area and dramatic cytoskeletal rearrangements. The invaginated demarcation membrane system (DMS), a hallmark of mature cells, has been proposed as the source of proplatelet membranes. By direct visualization of labeled DMS, we demonstrate that this is indeed the case. Late in megakaryocyte ontogeny, the DMS gets loaded with PI-4,5-P(2), a phospholipid that is confined to plasma membranes in other cells. Appearance of PI-4,5-P(2) in the DMS occurs in proximity to PI-5-P-4-kinase alpha (PIP4Kalpha), and short hairpin (sh) RNA-mediated loss of PIP4Kalpha impairs both DMS development and expansion of megakaryocyte size. Thus, PI-4,5-P(2) is a marker and possibly essential component of internal membranes. PI-4,5-P(2) is known to promote actin polymerization by activating Rho-like GTPases and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WASp) family proteins. Indeed, PI-4,5-P(2) in the megakaryocyte DMS associates with filamentous actin. Expression of a dominant-negative N-WASp fragment or pharmacologic inhibition of actin polymerization causes similar arrests in proplatelet formation, acting at a step beyond expansion of the DMS and cell mass. These observations collectively suggest a signaling pathway wherein PI-4,5-P(2) might facilitate DMS development and local assembly of actin fibers in preparation for platelet biogenesis.

Shah P, Marquart M, Quin LR, Swiatlo E (2006) Cellular location of polyamine transport protein PotD in Streptococcus pneumoniae. FEMS Microbiol Lett 261 :235-237


Streptococcus pneumoniae encodes a transporter for polyamines that contributes to virulence in an animal model. The putative polyamine-binding protein, PotD, has an amino-terminal secretory peptide but no other domains known to be involved in anchoring proteins to the surface of Gram-positive bacteria. Cell fractionation and immunoblotting, along with flow cytometry, suggest that PotD is surface-exposed and anchored to the cytoplasmic membrane by a potentially novel mechanism.

Shin DJ, Cho D, Kim YR, Rhee JH, Choy HE, Lee JJ, Hong Y (2006) Diagnosis of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria by fluorescent clostridium septicum alpha toxin. J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol 11 :20-27


Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), a hematopoietic stem cell disorder, is caused by the loss of glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins on the cell membrane. PNH can be simply diagnosed by flow cytometry using monoclonal antibodies against GPI-anchored proteins or fluorescent-tagged aerolysin, a bacterial toxin that binds GPI anchored proteins. Clostridium septicum alpha toxin is homologous to aerolysin and specifically binds GPI-anchored proteins. Previously, we found that an alpha toxin m45 mutant with two amino acid changes, S189C/S238C, lost cytotoxicity but still possessed binding activity for GPI-anchored proteins. To use this mutant toxin as a diagnostic probe in flow cytometry, we constructed the EGFP-AT(m45) expression vector, comprising a S189C/S238C alpha toxin mutant with EGFP and His tags at the N and C termini, respectively. The recombinant EGFP-AT(m45) was easily purified using single-step affinity chromatography against His tag from Escherichia coli. EGFP-AT(m45) bound to CHO and HeLa cells in a similar manner to monoclonal antibodies against GPI-anchored proteins or aerolysin. In whole blood from a PNH patient, GPI-deficient granulocytes could be differentiated by EGFP-AT(m45) using the same procedure as that employed with commercially available monoclonal antibodies. Therefore, nontoxic EGFP-conjugated C. septicum alpha toxin could be used clinically for PNH diagnosis.

Shiner EK, Terentyev D, Bryan A, Sennoune S, Martinez-Zaguilan R, Li G, Gyorke S, Williams SC, Rumbaugh KP (2006) Pseudomonas aeruginosa autoinducer modulates host cell responses through calcium signalling. Cell Microbiol 8 :1601-1610


The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa utilizes a cell density-dependent signalling phenomenon known as quorum sensing (QS) to regulate several virulence factors needed for infection. Acylated homoserine lactones, or autoinducers, are the primary signal molecules that mediate QS in P. aeruginosa. The autoinducer N-3O-dodecanoyl-homoserine lactone (3O-C12) exerts effects on mammalian cells, including upregulation of pro-inflammatory mediators and induction of apoptosis. However, the mechanism(s) by which 3O-C12 affects mammalian cell responses is unknown. Here we report that 3O-C12 induces apoptosis and modulates the expression of immune mediators in murine fibroblasts and human vascular endothelial cells (HUVEC). The effects of 3O-C12 were accompanied by increases in cytosolic calcium levels that were mobilized from intracellular stores in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Calcium release was blocked by an inhibitor of phospholipase C, suggesting that release occurred through inositol triphosphate (IP3) receptors in the ER. Apoptosis, but not immunodulatory gene activation, was blocked when 3O-C12-exposed cells were co-incubated with inhibitors of calcium signalling. This study indicates that 3O-C12 can activate at least two independent signal transduction pathways in mammalian cells, one that involves increases in intracellular calcium levels and leads to apoptosis, and a second pathway that results in modulation of the inflammatory response.

Smith JM, Wira CR, Fanger MW, Shen L (2006) Human fallopian tube neutrophils—a distinct phenotype from blood neutrophils. Am J Reprod Immunol 56 :218-229


PROBLEM : The role of neutrophils in the human Fallopian tube (FT) is unknown. In order to provide insights into their functions in the FT, we systematically compared neutrophils from normal FT and peripheral blood (PB). METHOD OF STUDY : Flow cytometric analysis of surface receptors, granule proteins, and intracellular cytokines expressed by neutrophils from enzymatically dispersed FT and PB was performed. RESULTS : Fallopian tube neutrophils expressed significantly higher levels of CD64, human class II histocompatibility antigen DR (HLA-DR), gamma-interferon, and vascular endothelial growth factor than those from PB. Fewer FT neutrophils expressed IL-8 receptors compared to PB, while more expressed the receptor for the bacterial-derived chemoattractant formyl-Met-Leu-Phe (fMLP). The number of FT neutrophils containing the granule proteins matrix metalloproteinase-9, lactoferrin, and myeloperoxidase was decreased versus PB. CONCLUSION : Fallopian tube neutrophils exhibit a phenotype distinct from PB neutrophils, suggesting functional activation of innate immune defense in the female reproductive tract as well as a potential role in maintaining normal FT physiology.

Staali L, Bauer S, Morgelin M, Bjorck L, Tapper H (2006) Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria modulate membrane traffic in human neutrophils and selectively inhibit azurophilic granule fusion with phagosomes. Cell Microbiol 8 :690-703


We recently reported that the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes of the M1 serotype survives and replicates intracellularly after being phagocytosed by human neutrophils. These data raised the possibility that the generation of reactive oxygen metabolites by neutrophils, and the release of microbicidal molecules from their azurophilic and specific granules into phagosomes, can be modulated by S. pyogenes bacteria expressing surface-associated M and/or M-like proteins. We now demonstrate, using flow cytometry, immunofluorescence microscopy and transmission electron microscopy, that live wild-type S. pyogenes, after internalization by human neutrophils, inhibits the fusion of azurophilic granules with phagosomes. In contrast, azurophilic granule-content is efficiently delivered to phagosomes containing bacteria not expressing M and/or M-like proteins. Also, when heat-killed wild-type bacteria are used as the phagocytic prey, fusion of azurophilic granules with phagosomes is observed. The inhibition caused by live wild-type S. pyogenes is specific for azurophilic granule-phagosome fusion, because the mobilization of specific granules and the production of reactive oxygen species are induced to a similar extent by all strains tested. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that viable S. pyogenes bacteria expressing M and M-like proteins selectively prevent the fusion of azurophilic granules with phagosomes.

Stoff JA, Nix DE, DeYoung DW (2006) A pilot study of an anti-MRSA bio-engineered lacteal complex (anti-MRSA BLC) in a murine septicemia model. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol 28 :601-607


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an important pathogen of humans and other animals, causing septicemia, abcessation, toxemia, and other infectious diseases. Refined bioengineered lacteal complex (BLC), made specifically against MRSA, is a novel complex of low molecular weight immunogenic and antimicrobial molecules. It was evaluated in vivo using a mouse model of MRSA-induced peritonitis. Intraperitoneal dosing of anti-MRSA BLC demonstrated a therapeutic effect (83% survival) against an intraperitoneal MRSA challenge that caused 100% mortality in untreated animals. Anti-MRSA BLC is a promising therapeutic modality for MRSA infection.

Szaniszlo P, Rose WA, Wang N, Reece LM, Tsulaia TV, Hanania EG, Elferink CJ, Leary JF (2006) Scanning cytometry with a LEAP : laser-enabled analysis and processing of live cells in situ. Cytometry A 69 :641-651


BACKGROUND : Scanning cytometry now has many of the features (and power) of multiparameter flow cytometry while keeping its own advantages as an imaging technology. Modern instruments combine capabilities of scanning cytometry with the ability to manipulate cells. A new technology, called LEAP (laser-enabled analysis and processing), offers a unique combination of capabilities in cell purification and selective macromolecule delivery (optoinjection). METHODS : LEAP-mediated cell purification and optoinjection effects were assessed in model experiments using adherent and suspension cell types and cell mixtures plated and processed at different densities. Optoinjection effects were visualized by delivering fluorescent dextrans into cells. Results were analyzed using the LEAP instrument’s own imaging system as well as by fluorescence and confocal microscopy. RESULTS : Live cell samples (adherent and suspension) could be purified to 90-100% purity with 50-90% yield, causing minimal cell damage depending on the cell type and plating density. Nearly one hundred percent of the targeted cells of all cell types examined could be successfully optoinjected with dextrans of 3-70 kDa, causing no visual damage to the cells. Indirect optoinjection effects were observed on untargeted cells within 5-60 microm to targeted areas under conditions used here. CONCLUSIONS : LEAP provides solutions in cell purification and targeted macromolecule delivery for traditional and challenging applications where other methods fall short.

Takahashi T, Sakaguchi E (2006) Transport of bacteria across and along the large intestinal lumen of guinea pigs. J Comp Physiol [B] 176 :173-178


Flow cytometry was used to observe the transport of fluorescently labelled viable bacteria in the large intestinal lumen of guinea pigs after the injection of the bacteria into the proximal colon. Bacteria were transported along the radial and longitudinal axes of the intestine and were separated from dietary residue, accumulated, and then transported back to the caecum. These observations, together with the heterogeneous distribution of bacterial species and chemical composition across and along the large intestine, suggest that there are several different microenvironments within the intestinal lumen between which bacteria and/or dietary residues move. The existence of different microenvironments within the intestinal lumen is consistent with poor mixing of the digesta within the large intestine of pigs and chickens.

Temmerman R, Vervaeren H, Noseda B, Boon N, Verstraete W (2006) Necrotrophic growth of Legionella pneumophila. Appl Environ Microbiol 72 :4323-4328


This study examined whether Legionella pneumophila is able to thrive on heat-killed microbial cells (necrotrophy) present in biofilms or heat-treated water systems. Quantification by means of plate counting, real-time PCR, and flow cytometry demonstrated necrotrophic growth of L. pneumophila in water after 96 h, when at least 100 dead cells are available to one L. pneumophila cell. Compared to the starting concentration of L. pneumophila, the maximum observed necrotrophic growth was 1.89 log units for real-time PCR and 1.49 log units for plate counting. The average growth was 1.57 +/- 0.32 log units (n = 5) for real-time PCR and 1.14 +/- 0.35 log units (n = 5) for plate counting. Viability staining and flow cytometry showed that the fraction of living cells in the L. pneumophila population rose from the initial 54% to 82% after 96 h. Growth was measured on heat-killed Pseudomonas putida, Escherichia coli, Acanthamoeba castellanii, Saccharomyces boulardii, and a biofilm sample. Gram-positive organisms did not result in significant growth of L. pneumophila, probably due to their robust cell wall structure. Although necrotrophy showed lower growth yields compared to replication within protozoan hosts, these findings indicate that it may be of major importance in the environmental persistence of L. pneumophila. Techniques aimed at the elimination of protozoa or biofilm from water systems will not necessarily result in a subsequent removal of L. pneumophila unless the formation of dead microbial cells is minimized.

Tobiason DM, Seifert HS (2006) The obligate human pathogen, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, is polyploid. PLoS Biol 4 :e185


We show using several methodologies that the Gram-negative, diplococcal-bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae has more than one complete genome copy per cell. Gene dosage measurements demonstrated that only a single replication initiation event per chromosome occurs per round of cell division, and that there is a single origin of replication. The region containing the origin does not encode any genes previously associated with bacterial origins of replication. Quantitative PCR results showed that there are on average three genome copies per coccal cell unit. These findings allow a model for gonococcal DNA replication and cell division to be proposed, in which a minimum of two chromosomal copies exist per coccal unit within a monococcal or diplococcal cell, and these chromosomes replicate in unison to produce four chromosomal copies during cell division. Immune evasion via antigenic variation is an important mechanism that allows these organisms to continually infect a high risk population of people. We propose that polyploidy may be necessary for the high frequency gene conversion system that mediates pilin antigenic variation and the propagation of N. gonorrhoeae within its human hosts.

Tuominen-Gustafsson H, Penttinen M, Hytonen J, Viljanen MK (2006) Use of CFSE staining of borreliae in studies on the interaction between borreliae and human neutrophils. BMC Microbiol 6 :92


BACKGROUND : Species of the tick-transmitted spirochete group Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (B. burgdorferi) cause Lyme borreliosis. Acute borrelial infection of the skin has unusual characteristics with only a mild local inflammatory response suggesting that the interaction between borreliae and the cells of the first-line defence might differ from that of other bacteria. It has been reported that human neutrophils phagocytose motile borreliae through an unconventional mechanism (tube phagocytosis) which is not observed with non-motile borreliae. Therefore, it would be of great interest to visualise the bacteria by a method not affecting motility and viability of borreliae to be able to study their interaction with the cells of the innate immunity. Carboxyfluorescein diacetate, succinimidyl ester (CFSE) labelling has been previously used for studying the adhesion of labelled bacteria to host cells and the uptake of labelled substrates by various cells using flow cytometry. RESULTS : In this study, CFSE was shown to efficiently stain different genospecies of B. burgdorferi without affecting bacterial viability or motility. Use of CFSE staining allowed subsequent quantification of borreliae associated with human neutrophils with flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. As a result, no difference in association between different borrelial genospecies (Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii), or between borreliae and the pyogenic bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes, with neutrophils could be detected. Borrelial virulence, on the other hand, affected association with neutrophils, with significantly higher association of a non-virulent mutant B. burgdorferi sensu stricto strain compared to the parental virulent wild type strain. CONCLUSION : These results suggest that the flow cytometric assay using CFSE labelled borreliae is a valuable tool in the analysis of the interaction between borreliae and human neutrophils. The results also indicate a clear difference in the association with neutrophils between virulent and non-virulent borrelial strains.

Tuzun E, Saini SS, Yang H, Alagappan D, Higgs S, Christadoss P (2006) Genetic evidence for the involvement of Fcgamma receptor III in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis pathogenesis. J Neuroimmunol 174 :157-167


Immune complexes and classical complement pathway play vital roles in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). To analyze the role of immune complex receptors in EAMG, FcgammaRIII knockout (KO) mice were immunized with AChR and were found out to be resistant to EAMG induction. This was associated with reduced neuromuscular junction deposits, lymph node cell (LNC) IL-6 production and serum complement levels. EAMG resistance of anti-C1q Ab-administered mice was also associated with reduced LNC IL-6 production and neuromuscular junction deposits, indicating C1q involvement in EAMG resistance. The data provide the first direct genetic evidence for Fcgamma receptor involvement in EAMG pathogenesis.

Valdivia RH, Cormack BP, Falkow S (2006) The uses of green fluorescent protein in prokaryotes. Methods Biochem Anal 47 :163-178


Valli M, Sauer M, Branduardi P, Borth N, Porro D, Mattanovich D (2006) Improvement of lactic acid production in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by cell sorting for high intracellular pH. Appl Environ Microbiol 72 :5492-5499


Yeast strains expressing heterologous L-lactate dehydrogenases can produce lactic acid. Although these microorganisms are tolerant of acidic environments, it is known that at low pH, lactic acid exerts a high level of stress on the cells. In the present study we analyzed intracellular pH (pHi) and viability by staining with cSNARF-4F and ethidium bromide, respectively, of two lactic-acid-producing strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, CEN.PK m850 and CEN.PK RWB876. The results showed that the strain producing more lactic acid, CEN.PK m850, has a higher pHi. During batch culture, we observed in both strains a reduction of the mean pHi and the appearance of a subpopulation of cells with low pHi. Simultaneous analysis of pHi and viability proved that the cells with low pHi were dead. Based on the observation that the better lactic-acid-producing strain had a higher pHi and that the cells with low pHi were dead, we hypothesized that we might find better lactic acid producers by screening for cells within the highest pHi range. The screening was performed on UV-mutagenized populations through three consecutive rounds of cell sorting in which only the viable cells within the highest pHi range were selected. The results showed that lactic acid production was significantly improved in the majority of the mutants obtained compared to the parental strains. The best lactic-acid-producing strain was identified within the screening of CEN.PK m850 mutants.

Van Raemdonck H, Maes A, Ossieur W, Verthe K, Vercauteren T, Verstraete W, Boon N (2006) Real time PCR quantification in groundwater of the dehalorespiring Desulfitobacterium dichloroeliminans strain DCA1. J Microbiol Methods 67 :294-303


Quantifying microorganisms responsible for bioremediation can provide insight in their behavior and can help to obtain a better understanding of the physicochemical parameters monitored during bioremediation. A real time PCR (RTm PCR) assay based on the detection with SYBR Green I was optimized in order to quantify the 1,2-dichloroethane dehalorespiring Desulfitobacterium dichloroeliminans strain DCA1. A primer pair targeting unique regions of the 16 S rRNA gene was designed and tested in silico for its specificity. Selectivity was furthermore evaluated and a Limit of Quantification of 1.5 x 10(4) cells/microL DNA extract was obtained for spiked groundwater. Real time measurements of groundwater samples retrieved from a bioaugmented monitoring well and which had an average concentration lying in the range of the Limit of Quantification were evaluated positively with regards to reproducibility. Validation of the RTm PCR assay on groundwater samples originating from different sites confirmed the specificity of the designed primer pair. This RTm PCR assay can be used to survey the abundance and kinetics of strain DCA1 in in situ bioaugmentation field studies.

Veldhuis MJ, Fuhr F, Boon JP, ten Hallers-Tjabbers CC (2006) Treatment of ballast water ; how to test a system with a modular concept ? Environ Technol 27 :909-921


A variety of methods were successfully applied to examine the efficacy of a modular ballast water system according to the standards as adopted by the International Maritime Organization. The ballast water treatment system had a capacity of 530 m3 h(-1) consisted of a pump system, a hydrocyclone, a 50 microm mesh-size self-cleaning filter and an installation for the addition of a chemical disinfectant (PERACLEAN Ocean). The land-based testing facility used natural sea water of high turbidity during the spring phytoplankton bloom. The mesozooplankton fraction was inspected with a standard binocular. Larger zooplankton were effectively removed with the filter ; the smaller sized fraction containing larvae and nauplia were killed after chemical treatment. The phytoplankton component was monitored using flow cytometry. The huge colonies of the phytoplankton Phaeocystis globosa were disrupted in the hydrocyclone liberating the colony cells which passed as single cells through the filter. These cells remained viable but were finally killed in the secondary (chemical) step. Bacteria also passed all mechanical treatment steps unharmed but were killed in the final step. Viability tests with SYTOX Green, which were specifically designed for phytoplankton, showed that mechanical treatment did not affect the percentage of viable cells a short-term, but after several hours the viable cell counts dropped down to 70%. Phytoplankton cells recovered within a single day and formed a new dense bloom rapidly. The bacteriostatic component of the chemical disinfectant (H2O2) remained present for several days preventing regrowth of bacteria for up to 15 days after addition. In conclusion, the IMO standards were met using the modular ballast water treatment unit and the applied instruments and assays were effective and rapid tools to qualify and quantify the organisms present as well as their viability.

Verthe K, Verstraete W (2006) Use of flow cytometry for analysis of phage-mediated killing of Enterobacter aerogenes. Res Microbiol 157 :613-618


In this study, the use of flow cytometry to analyze phage-mediated killing of Enterobacter aerogenes under varying conditions of temperature and nutrient availability was assessed. Bacteriophage UZ1, specific for an E. aerogenes strain, was applied at a multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 1 and 1000 to a Teflon surface, artificially infected with its host at a level of 4.5 log cells. After incubation for 20 h, bacteriophages were quantified using the soft agar layer method. For the quantification of bacterial cells, plate counting and flow cytometric analysis of live/dead stained cells were performed in parallel. At an MOI of 1, phage treatment was successful only after incubation under nutrient-rich conditions at 37 degrees C : E. aerogenes cells were not detected and a tenfold increase in phage UZ1 was observed. At a MOI of 1000, no E. aerogenes cells could be cultured after incubation at 37 and 4 degrees C. However, flow cytometric analysis revealed that lysis did not occur at 4 degrees C but was achieved during subsequent plate culture. In conclusion, the use of flow cytometry enabled identification of culture-based bias during plate culture. The flow cytometric assay used in this study proved to be rapid, as this culture-independent method does not require lengthy incubation periods post-sampling. The bacteriophage-mediated killing of E. aerogenes cells on Teflon surfaces indicated that disinfection of E. aerogenes with bacteriophage UZ1 can be successful when high MOIs are achieved, while at low multiplicities of infection conditions favorable for phage replication are required.

Voehringer D, Reese TA, Huang X, Shinkai K, Locksley RM (2006) Type 2 immunity is controlled by IL-4/IL-13 expression in hematopoietic non-eosinophil cells of the innate immune system. J Exp Med 203 :1435-1446


Nippostrongylus brasiliensis infection and ovalbumin-induced allergic lung pathology are highly interleukin (IL)-4/IL-13 dependent, but the contributions of IL-4/IL-13 from adaptive (T helper [Th]2 cells) and innate (eosinophil, basophils, and mast cells) immune cells remain unknown. Although required for immunoglobulin (Ig)E induction, IL-4/IL-13 from Th2 cells was not required for worm expulsion, tissue inflammation, or airway hyperreactivity. In contrast, innate hematopoietic cell-derived IL-4/IL-13 was dispensable for Th2 cell differentiation in lymph nodes but required for effector cell recruitment and tissue responses. Eosinophils were not required for primary immune responses. Thus, components of type 2 immunity mediated by IL-4/IL-13 are partitioned between T cell-dependent IgE and an innate non-eosinophil tissue component, suggesting new strategies for interventions in allergic immunity.

Wallny HJ, Avila D, Hunt LG, Powell TJ, Riegert P, Salomonsen J, Skjodt K, Vainio O, Vilbois F, Wiles MV, Kaufman J (2006) Peptide motifs of the single dominantly expressed class I molecule explain the striking MHC-determined response to Rous sarcoma virus in chickens. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 103 :1434-1439


Compared with the MHC of typical mammals, the chicken MHC is smaller and simpler, with only two class I genes found in the B12 haplotype. We make five points to show that there is a single-dominantly expressed class I molecule that can have a strong effect on MHC function. First, we find only one cDNA for two MHC haplotypes (B14 and B15) and cDNAs corresponding to two genes for the other six (B2, B4, B6, B12, B19, and B21). Second, we find, for the B4, B12, and B15 haplotypes, that one cDNA is at least 10-fold more abundant than the other. Third, we use 2D gel electrophoresis of class I molecules from pulse-labeled cells to show that there is only one heavy chain spot for the B4 and B15 haplotypes, and one major spot for the B12 haplotype. Fourth, we determine the peptide motifs for B4, B12, and B15 cells in detail, including pool sequences and individual peptides, and show that the motifs are consistent with the peptides binding to models of the class I molecule encoded by the abundant cDNA. Finally, having shown for three haplotypes that there is a single dominantly expressed class I molecule at the level of RNA, protein, and antigenic peptide, we show that the motifs can explain the striking MHC-determined resistance and susceptibility to Rous sarcoma virus. These results are consistent with the concept of a "minimal essential MHC" for chickens, in strong contrast to typical mammals.

Weeks ME, Nebe von Caron G, James DC, Smales CM, Robinson GK (2006) Monitoring changes in nisin susceptibility of Listeria monocytogenes Scott A as an indicator of growth phase using FACS. J Microbiol Methods 66 :43-55


Listeria monocytogenes has previously been shown to adapt to a wide variety of environmental niches, principally those associated with low pH, and this compromises its control in food environments. An understanding of the mechanism(s) by which L. monocytogenes survives unfavourable environmental conditions will aid in developing new food processing methods to control the organism in foodstuffs. The present study aimed to gain a further understanding of the physiological basis for the differential effects of one control strategy, namely the use of the lantibiotic nisin. Using propidium iodide (PI) to probe membrane integrity it was shown that L. monocytogenes Scott A was sensitive to nisin (8 ng mL(-)) but this was growth phase dependent with stationary phase cells (OD600=1.2) being much more resistant than exponential phase cells (OD600=0.38). We demonstrate that, using a combination of techniques including fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS), the membrane adaptations underpinning nisin resistance are triggered much earlier (OD600<0.5) than the onset of stationary phase. The significance of these findings in terms of mechanism and application are discussed.

Wiacek C, Muller S, Benndorf D (2006) A cytomic approach reveals population heterogeneity of Cupriavidus necator in response to harmful phenol concentrations. Proteomics 6 :5983-5994


The understanding of functions of cells within microbial populations or communities is certainly needed for existing and novel cytomic approaches which grip the individual scale. Population behaviour results from single cell performances and is caused by the individual genetic pool, history, life cycle states and microenvironmental surroundings. Mimicking natural impaired environments, the paper shows that the Gram-negative Betaproteobacterium Cupriavidus necator dramatically altered its population heterogeneity in response to harmful phenol concentrations. Multiparametric flow cytometry was used to follow variations in structural cellular parameters like chromosome contents and storage materials. The functioning of these different cell types was resolved by ensuing proteomics after the cells’ spatial separation by cell sorting, finding 11 proteins changed in their expression profile, among them elongation factor Tu and the trigger factor. At least one third of the individuals clearly underwent starving states ; however, simultaneously these cells prepared themselves for entering the life cycle again. Using cytomics to recognise individual structure and function on the microbial scale represents an innovative technical design to describe the complexity of such systems, overcoming the disadvantage of small cell volumes and, thus, to resolve bacterial strategies to survive harmful environments by altering population heterogeneity.

Wieser M, Stadler G, Bohm E, Borth N, Katinger H, Grillari J, Voglauer R (2006) Nuclear flow FISH : isolation of cell nuclei improves the determination of telomere lengths. Exp Gerontol 41 :230-235


Understanding telomere biology is of utmost importance for aging and cancer research. An essential tool is the determination of telomere length, which traditionally is done by telomere restriction fragment analysis, a laborious and time consuming method. Therefore, large efforts have been made to establish alternative methods like flow FISH analysis. This method, combining fluorescence in situ hybridization with a telomere specific peptide nucleic acid probe and flow cytometry, measures single cells, is suitable for analysis of non-dividing cells, and can be performed within 24 h. However, when performing flow FISH analysis with normal human kidney epithelial cells, we observed strong variation of autofluorescence at different population doubling levels, especially at replicative senescence, which limits the suitability of this method for the analysis of normal human cells. Since molecules responsible for autofluorescence are predominantly accumulating in the cytoplasm, we decided to isolate the nuclei to perform flow FISH analysis. With this novel nuclear flow FISH (NFF) technique we were able to minimize autofluorescence and its variability, thereby improving the signal-to-noise ratio and consequently, allowing the determination of telomere length during in vitro aging with high accuracy. Moreover, NFF will find broader applications, whenever in situ hybridization signals have to be quantitated.

Wireman J, Lowe M, Spiro A, Zhang YZ, Sornborger A, Summers AO (2006) Quantitative, longitudinal profiling of the primate fecal microbiota reveals idiosyncratic, dynamic communities. Environ Microbiol 8 :490-503


We used slot blot hybridization, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and flow cytometry microarrays to quantify specific 16S rDNAs in weekly fecal specimens from four monkeys housed in a research vivarium for periods ranging from five to 8 months. Even in these uniformly housed and fed animals the gut microbiota is idiosyncratic, very dynamic on short timescales, and shows significant positive and negative correlations among some bacteria as well as responses to heavy metal exposure. The relative quantification (fmol targets per total fmol bacterial 16S rDNA) afforded by flow cytometry microarrays agreed well with the absolute quantification (nanogram of target DNA per nanogram of fecal DNA) afforded by slot blots and qPCR. We also noted strengths and weaknesses in inter-method comparisons for DNA-based quantification of these complex bacterial communities.

Xiong YQ, Willard J, Yeaman MR, Cheung AL, Bayer AS (2006) Regulation of Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin gene (hla) expression by agr, sarA, and sae in vitro and in experimental infective endocarditis. J Infect Dis 194 :1267-1275


BACKGROUND : The Staphylococcus aureus global regulators—agr, sarA, and sae—coordinately control alpha-toxin gene (hla) expression in vitro. However, their relative in vivo contributions to hla expression, particularly in endovascular infections, have not been defined. METHODS : A plasmid-based hla-promoter:green fluorescent protein reporter system was constructed in 2 genetically related S. aureus strains : RN6390 (a natural sigma factor B [sigB]-deficient mutant), SH1000 (a sigB-repaired variant of RN6390 lineage), and their respective agr, sarA, agr/sarA, and sae mutants. These strain sets were used to quantify hla expression in vitro and in an experimental infective endocarditis (IE) model using flow cytometry. RESULTS : In vitro, hla expression was positively modulated by all 3 regulons (sae > agr/sarA > agr and sarA) in both RN6390 and SH1000 backgrounds. In the IE model, hla expression in cardiac vegetations was lower in all single mutants than in the respective parental strains (P<.05 for sae mutant) but was maintained at near-parental levels in the agr/sarA double mutant in both backgrounds. A similar finding was also observed in kidneys and spleens. CONCLUSIONS : These results indicate that, although several distinct regulatory circuits can affect hla expression in vitro and in vivo, sae appears to play a crucial role in this context.

Xu X, Zhang D, Lyubynska N, Wolters PJ, Killeen NP, Baluk P, McDonald DM, Hawgood S, Caughey GH (2006) Mast cells protect mice from Mycoplasma pneumonia. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 173 :219-225


RATIONALE : As the smallest free-living bacteria and a frequent cause of respiratory infections, mycoplasmas are unique pathogens. Mice infected with Mycoplasma pulmonis can develop localized, life-long airway infection accompanied by persistent inflammation and remodeling. OBJECTIVE : Because mast cells protect mice from acute septic peritonitis and gram-negative pneumonia, we hypothesized that they defend against mycoplasma infection. This study tests this hypothesis using mast cell-deficient mice. METHODS : Responses to airway infection with M. pulmonis were compared in wild-type and mast cell-deficient Kit(W-sh)/Kit(W-sh) mice and sham-infected control mice. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS : Endpoints include mortality, body and lymph node weight, mycoplasma antibody titer, and lung mycoplasma burden and histopathology at intervals after infection. The results reveal that infected Kit(W-sh)/Kit(W-sh) mice, compared with other groups, lose more weight and are more likely to die. Live mycoplasma burden is greater in Kit(W-sh)/Kit(W-sh) than in wild-type mice at early time points. Four days after infection, the difference is 162-fold. Titers of mycoplasma-specific IgM and IgA appear earlier and rise higher in Kit(W-sh)/Kit(W-sh) mice, but antibody responses to heat-killed mycoplasma are not different compared with wild-type mice. Infected Kit(W-sh)/Kit(W-sh) mice develop larger bronchial lymph nodes and progressive pneumonia and airway occlusion with neutrophil-rich exudates, accompanied by angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. In wild-type mice, pneumonia and exudates are less severe, quicker to resolve, and are not associated with increased angiogenesis. CONCLUSIONS : These findings suggest that mast cells are important for innate immune containment of and recovery from respiratory mycoplasma infection.

Yamaguchi N, Ohba H, Nasu M (2006) Simple detection of small amounts of Pseudomonas cells in milk by using a microfluidic device. Lett Appl Microbiol 43 :631-636


AIMS : Flow cytometry offers rapid and reliable analyses of bacteria in milk. However, a flow cytometer is relatively expensive and operation is rather complicated for an unskilled operator. We applied flow cytometry using a microfluidic device (on-chip flow cytometry) in detection of small amounts of milk-spoiling bacteria. METHODS AND RESULTS : Pseudomonas cells in milk were in situ hybridized with Cy5-labelled probe specific for Pseudomonas spp. under optimized condition. Numbers of Pseudomonas cells in the stationary phase and in the starved state determined by on-chip flow cytometry were compared with those determined by conventional plate counting, and on-chip flow cytometry detected targeted cells in milk that were undetectable as colony forming units(CFU) on Standards Methods Agar. CONCLUSIONS : The contamination in milk with fewer than 10 CFU ml(-1) of targeted cells in starved state was detectable with simple procedure (0.5 h milk-clearing, 1 h fixation, 2 h hybridization and 0.5 h on-chip flow cytometry following 12 h enrichment of cells). SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY : On-chip flow cytometry following fluorescence in situ hybridization could be applicable to simple detection of milk-spoiling bacteria.

Yilmaz O, Verbeke P, Lamont RJ, Ojcius DM (2006) Intercellular spreading of Porphyromonas gingivalis infection in primary gingival epithelial cells. Infect Immun 74 :703-710


Porphyromonas gingivalis, an important periodontal pathogen, is an effective colonizer of oral tissues. The organism successfully invades, multiplies in, and survives for extended periods in primary gingival epithelial cells (GECs). It is unknown whether P. gingivalis resides in the cytoplasm of infected cells throughout the infection or can spread to adjacent cells over time. We developed a technique based on flow cytofluorometry and fluorescence microscopy to study propagation of the organism at different stages of infection of GECs. Results showed that P. gingivalis spreads cell to cell and that the amount of spreading increases gradually over time. There was a very low level of propagation of bacteria to uninfected cells early in the infection (3 h postinfection), but there were 20-fold and 45-fold increases in the propagation rate after 24 h and 48 h, respectively, of infection. Immunofluorescence microscopy of infected cells suggested that intercellular translocation of P. gingivalis may be mediated through actin-based membrane protrusions, bypassing the need for release of bacteria into extracellular medium. Consistent with these observations, cytochalasin D treatment of infected cells resulted in significant inhibition of bacterial spreading. This study shows for the first time that P. gingivalis disseminates from cell to cell without passing through the extracellular space. This mechanism of spreading may allow P. gingivalis to colonize oral tissues without exposure to the humoral immune response.

Yount JS, Kraus TA, Horvath CM, Moran TM, Lopez CB (2006) A novel role for viral-defective interfering particles in enhancing dendritic cell maturation. J Immunol 177 :4503-4513


Dendritic cell (DC) maturation is a crucial event in the development of adaptive immune responses that confer long-lasting protection against reinfection with the same virus. Sendai virus strain Cantell has a particularly strong ability to mature DCs independently of type I IFNs and TLR signaling, currently the best-described pathways for the induction of DC maturation. In this study, we demonstrate that defective-interfering (DI) particles present in Sendai virus-Cantell stocks are required for its robust DC maturation ability. DI particles contain incomplete genomes that are unable to replicate unless the viral polymerase is supplied by coinfection with complete virus. Accordingly, the improvement in the virus-induced maturation of DCs provided by DI particles requires standard virus coinfection and likely results from increased production of dsRNA replication intermediaries. This unique ability of DI particles to stimulate DC maturation cannot be mimicked by simply increasing the dose of standard virus. Furthermore, viruses with weak DC maturation abilities can be converted into potent DC stimulators with the addition of DI particles, supporting a potential application for DI particles as a novel natural adjuvant for viral immunizations.

Zhang Y, Wen L, Cheng B (2006) Effect of [Ca2+]i and neuronal mitochondria transmembrane potentials in hippocampus of murine cytomegalovirus infected mice. J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci 26 :211-212


To explore the effect of [Ca2+]i and neuronal mitochondria transmembrane potentials in hippocampus of murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infected mice, newborn Balb/c mice were randomly divided into two groups : a virus inoculated group and a control group. After 56 days, single cell of hippocampus was isolated, and mitochondria transmembrane potentials and the intracellular free calcium level [Ca2+]i in hippocampus were measured by means of flow cytometry (FCM). Compared with the control group, the mitochondria transmembrane potentials was decreased (P<0.01) and the intracellular free calcium level [Ca2+]i was increased (P<0.01) in inoculated group. The dysfunction of [Ca2+]i and mitochondria transmembrane potentials in hippocampus may play an important role in the functional disorders in CMV-infected CNS.

Zhang YL, Ma WL, Mo XY, Zhao HQ, Ke CW, Zheng HY, Zheng WL (2006) [Human cytomegalovirus induces apoptosis of ECV304 endothelial-like cells]. Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao 26 :316-320


OBJECTIVE : To investigate the mechanisms for the cytopathic effect (CPE) of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) in ECV304 endothelial-like cells. METHODS : PCR and indirect immunofluorescence were used to detect HCMV infection by examining immediate-early (IE) gene and protein expression of the virus in ECV304 cells. Phase-contrast and electron microscopies were performed to observe the morphological changes of the infected and uninfected cells, and DNA ladder analysis and flow cytometry were carried out to study HCMV-induced cell apoptosis. RESULTS : In HCMV-infected ECV304 cells, cytopathic effects were first observed at approximately 72 h post-infection. The cells with CPE changes exhibited detachment from the monolayer, cell rounding and shrinkage. The expression of the IE gene was detected. Chromatin condensation and nuclear fragmentation along with dramatic changes of the mitochondria were observed by electron microscopy at 96 h post-infection. Cellular DNA fragmentation was observed in the infected cells, which had cells apoptotic rates of 4.1% and 45.7% at 96 h and 144 h post-infection, respectively. CONCLUSION : HCMV can induce apoptosis of ECV304 endothelial-like cells.

Zhao HC, Xiang GQ, Shen HQ (2006) [The use of flow cytometry in detecting CMV-PP65 antigenemia for the diagnosis of CMV hepatitis]. Zhonghua Gan Zang Bing Za Zhi 14 :310-311


Zinser ER, Coe A, Johnson ZI, Martiny AC, Fuller NJ, Scanlan DJ, Chisholm SW (2006) Prochlorococcus ecotype abundances in the North Atlantic Ocean as revealed by an improved quantitative PCR method. Appl Environ Microbiol 72 :723-732


The cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus numerically dominates the photosynthetic community in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world’s oceans. Six evolutionary lineages of Prochlorococcus have been described, and their distinctive physiologies and genomes indicate that these lineages are "ecotypes" and should have different oceanic distributions. Two methods recently developed to quantify these ecotypes in the field, probe hybridization and quantitative PCR (QPCR), have shown that this is indeed the case. To facilitate a global investigation of these ecotypes, we modified our QPCR protocol to significantly increase its speed, sensitivity, and accessibility and validated the method in the western and eastern North Atlantic Ocean. We showed that all six ecotypes had distinct distributions that varied with depth and location, and, with the exception of the deeper waters at the western North Atlantic site, the total Prochlorococcus counts determined by QPCR matched the total counts measured by flow cytometry. Clone library analyses of the deeper western North Atlantic waters revealed ecotypes that are not represented in the culture collections with which the QPCR primers were designed, explaining this discrepancy. Finally, similar patterns of relative ecotype abundance were obtained in QPCR and probe hybridization analyses of the same field samples, which could allow comparisons between studies.

Zollinger M, Krebs W, Brandl H (2006) Bioaerosol formation during grape stemming and crushing. Sci Total Environ 363 :253-259


Indoor formation of airborne particles during pre-fermentation grape processing was assessed by particle counting using laser particle sizers. Particle numbers of four different aerodynamic size classes (0.3 to 0.5 microm, 0.5 to 1 microm, 1 to 5 microm, and >5 microm) were determined during unloading of harvest containers and subsequent grape stemming and crushing. Regarding these size classes, composition before grape handling was determined as 87.9%, 10.4%, 1.7%, and 0.1%, respectively, whereas the composition changed during grape handling to 50.4%, 15.2%, 33.0%, and 1.5%, respectively. Airborne bacteria and fungi originating from grape processing were collected by impactor and liquid impinger samplers. Grape handling resulted in a sixfold increase in total (biological and non-biological) airborne particles. The generation of bacterial and fungal aerosols was associated mostly with particles of aerodynamic diameters>5 microm (mainly 7 to 11 microm) as determined by flow cytometry. This fraction was increased 150fold in relation to background levels before grape crushing. Maximum concentrations of culturable bacteria reached 485,000 colony forming units (cfu/m3), whereas 146,000 cfu of fungi and yeasts were detected per cubic meter of air. Culturable Gram-negative bacteria occurred only in small numbers (180 cfu/m3). In relation to the total number of airborne particles emitted, culturable microorganisms comprised 0.1% to 0.2%. As soon as grape crushing was stopped, particle concentrations decreased rapidly either due to passive settling or due to air currents in the occupational indoor environment reaching background levels.