vendredi 24 avril 2009
par   G. Grégori

Amadori M, Tagliabue S, Lauzi S, Finazzi G, Lombardi G, Telo P, Pacciarini L, Bonizzi L (2002) Diagnosis of Mycobacterium bovis infection in calves sensitized by mycobacteria of the avium/intracellulare group. J Vet Med B Infect Dis Vet Public Health 49 :89-96


Because of the frequent exposure of cattle to mycobacteria of the avium/intracellulare group, an investigation was carried out into the possible repercussions thereof on the diagnosis of bovine tuberculosis. Three calves from a bovine tuberculosis-free herd, scored avian reactors in the gamma-interferon assay for bovine tuberculosis, were sedated and inoculated endotracheally with a virulent Mycobacterium bovis strain. Then, three other avian reactors were housed with the above donor calves. Mycobacterium bovis was isolated from the nasal swabs of the three endotracheally infected, donor calves. On these samples, TB complex-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for IS6110 were also positive, albeit with a different time kinetics. The three contact-infected calves showed clear immunological signs of infection ; however, their nasal swabs were always PCR-negative and only Mycobacterium avium was isolated. In the endotracheally infected donor calves there was a rise of the gamma-interferon responses to avian and bovine purified protein derivative (PPD) tuberculins, which reached the same stable plateau levels over the whole experiment. The above effect was also observed in the contact-infected calves, even though the response to avian PPD tuberculin always remained at a higher level. By using conventional bovine and avian PPD tuberculins, the comparative intradermal test was generally positive in endotracheally infected, as opposed to contact-infected calves ; a positive intradermal test for M. bovis was obtained in two contact-infected calves by different bovine PPD tuberculins based on M. bovis bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) secreted or somatic antigens. It was concluded that M. bovis infection may be concealed for some time in cattle sensitized by mycobacteria of the avium/intracellulare group and that different diagnostic procedures should be adopted for such animals.

Amor KB, Breeuwer P, Verbaarschot P, Rombouts FM, Akkermans AD, De Vos WM, Abee T (2002) Multiparametric flow cytometry and cell sorting for the assessment of viable, injured, and dead bifidobacterium cells during bile salt stress. Appl Environ Microbiol 68 :5209-5216


Using a flow cytometry-based approach, we assessed the viability of Bifidobacterium lactis DSM 10140 and Bifidobacterium adolescentis DSM 20083 during exposure to bile salt stress. Carboxyfluorescein diacetate (cFDA), propidium iodide (PI), and oxonol [DiBAC4(3)] were used to monitor esterase activity, membrane integrity, and membrane potential, respectively, as indicators of bacterial viability. Single staining with these probes rapidly and noticeably reflected the behavior of the two strains during stress exposure. However, the flow cytometry results tended to overestimate the viability of the two strains compared to plate counts, which appeared to be related to the nonculturability of a fraction of the population as a result of sublethal injury caused by bile salts. When the cells were simultaneously stained with cFDA and PI, flow cytometry and cell sorting revealed a striking physiological heterogeneity within the stressed bifidobacterium population. Three subpopulations could be identified based on their differential uptake of the probes : cF-stained, cF and PI double-stained, and PI-stained subpopulations, representing viable, injured, and dead cells, respectively. Following sorting and recovery, a significant fraction of the double-stained subpopulation (40%) could resume growth on agar plates. Our results show that in situ assessment of the physiological activity of stressed bifidobacteria using multiparameter flow cytometry and cell sorting may provide a powerful and sensitive tool for assessment of the viability and stability of probiotics.

Andreottola G, Foladori P, Gelmini A, Ziglio G (2002) Biomass active fraction evaluated by a direct method and respirometric techniques. Water Sci Technol 46 :371-379


The knowledge of the active biomass amount and its characterisation is of primary importance for the management and for the design of wastewater treatment plants on the basis of the recently developed models. OUR curves obtained in aerobic exponential growth tests are proposed by several authors as an indirect method to estimate the active fraction. The aim of this work is the application of a direct method to measure the viable biomass based on flow cytometry techniques and the comparison with the active fraction obtained from respirometric tests. To assess the viable fraction of a biomass expressed in terms of COD concentration it is necessary to estimate the biovolume of viable bacteria and to know the specific carbon content per cell. For the investigated activated sludge samples, the bacterial biomass measured by FCM was 588 mgCOD L(-1) on average in a two-months period. This value of active fraction corresponds to 14% of particulate COD. Active biomass values measured with the respirometric approach were consistent but generally higher than those obtained by FCM.

Aps JK, Van den Maagdenberg K, Delanghe JR, Martens LC (2002) Flow cytometry as a new method to quantify the cellular content of human saliva and its relation to gingivitis. Clin Chim Acta 321 :35-41


BACKGROUND : Determining the cellular content of saliva by means of conventional microscopy chamber counting is a very time-consuming and operator-sensitive procedure. This study concentrated on the use of flow cytometry to examine the cellular content of saliva. Erythrocytes, leukocytes, epithelial cells and bacteria were quantified and the results were compared with caries experience and the presence of gingivitis. METHODS : 258 uncentrifuged vortexed paraffin-stimulated saliva samples (112 males and 146 females) were analyzed with the UF-100 flow cytometer. Salivary reference values were established for erythrocyte, leukocyte, epithelial cell and bacterial count. Caries experience (DMF) and the presence of gingivitis were recorded. RESULTS : Caries experience or caries risk could not be assessed with flow cytometry. However, salivary flow cytometry may be useful in determining an individual’s risk for gingivitis : a significant increase in salivary leukocytes was observed in individuals with gingivitis. At a cut-off level of 10(3) leukocytes micro l(-1) saliva, a sensitivity of 76% and a specificity of 45% was obtained. Other analytes were not significantly different between individuals with and without gingivitis. CONCLUSION : Flow cytometry of paraffin-stimulated human saliva seems a promising diagnostic or predictive tool and further investigations of diseases of the oro-pharyngeal loge, such as tonsillitis and periodontitis, should be carried out in the future.

Barchet W, Cella M, Odermatt B, Asselin-Paturel C, Colonna M, Kalinke U (2002) Virus-induced interferon alpha production by a dendritic cell subset in the absence of feedback signaling in vivo. J Exp Med 195 :507-516


An effective type I interferon (IFN-alpha/beta) response is critical for the control of many viral infections. Here we show that in vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-infected mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) the production of IFN-alpha is dependent on type I IFN receptor (IFNAR) triggering, whereas in infected mice early IFN-alpha production is IFNAR independent. In VSV-infected mice type I IFN is produced by few cells located in the marginal zone of the spleen. Unlike other dendritic cell (DC) subsets, FACS((R))-sorted CD11c(int)CD11b(-)GR-1(+) DCs show high IFN-alpha expression, irrespective of whether they were isolated from VSV-infected IFNAR-competent or -deficient mice. Thus, VSV preferentially activates a specialized DC subset presumably located in the marginal zone to produce high-level IFN-alpha largely independent of IFNAR feedback signaling.

Becker A, Meister A, Wilhelm C (2002) Flow cytometric discrimination of various phycobilin-containing phytoplankton groups in a hypertrophic reservoir. Cytometry 48 :45-57


BACKGROUND : Knowledge of phytoplankton structure is important information in water quality control. Lake restoration and sanitation measures in particular must be evaluated on the organismic level to valuate biological effects and assess the risk of potentially toxic Cyanobacteria blooms. We used and comparatively tested three independent methods for phytoplankton analysis in a hypertrophic reservoir under restoration. METHODS : Nine unialgal cultures and outdoor samples were examined by high-performance liquid chromatography pigment analysis, microscopical cell counting, and flow cytometric (FCM) light scatter and fluorescence analysis to measure the percentage contribution of the major algal groups to chlorophyll a and biovolume. The FCM instrument settings and identification criteria were developed using a single excitation wavelength at 514 nm to differentiate nine algal species representing the major groups of algae. Fluorescence was detected at 585, 620, 650, and 680 nm. RESULTS : The results show that FCM is the only method for determining changes in the phytoplankton composition on both a chlorophyll a and biovolume basis. CONCLUSIONS : Each of the three methods has specific advantages and disadvantages, and should be chosen depending on the experimental problem. FCM sorting allows the combination of all three and offers further new perspectives.

Bolduc GR, Baron MJ, Gravekamp C, Lachenauer CS, Madoff LC (2002) The alpha C protein mediates internalization of group B Streptococcus within human cervical epithelial cells. Cell Microbiol 4 :751-758


Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is the leading cause of bacterial chorioamnionitis and neonatal pneumonia, sepsis, and meningitis. Deletion of the alpha C protein gene (bca) attenuates the virulence of GBS in an animal model ; significant survival differences in the first 24 h of infection suggest a pathogenic role for the alpha C protein early in the infection process. We examined the role of alpha C protein in the association between GBS and mucosal surfaces using a human cervical epithelial cell line, ME180. Fluorescent and confocal microscopy and flow cytometry demonstrated that 9-repeat alpha C protein binds to the surface of ME180 cells. Isolated N-terminal region of this protein also binds to these cells and competitively inhibits binding of the full protein. Wild-type GBS strain A909 and the bca-null isogenic mutant JL2053 bound similarly to the surface of ME180 cells. However, A909 entered these cells threefold more. Internalization of A909 was inhibited with 2- and 9-repeat alpha C and with N-terminal region alone but not by repeat region-specific peptide. Translocation across polarized ME180 membranes was fivefold greater for A909 than for JL2053. These findings suggest a role for the alpha C protein in interaction with epithelial surfaces and initiation of infection.

Bongaerts RJ, Hautefort I, Sidebotham JM, Hinton JC (2002) Green fluorescent protein as a marker for conditional gene expression in bacterial cells. Methods Enzymol 358 :43-66


To date, the majority of studies of bacterial gene expression have been carried out on large communities, as techniques for analysis of expression in individual cells have not been available. Recent developments now allow us to use reporter genes to monitor gene expression in individual bacterial cells. Conventional reporters are not suitable for studies of living single cells. However, variants of GFP have proved to be ideal for the study of development, cell biology, and pathogenesis and are now the reporters of choice for microbial studies. In combination with techniques such as DFI and IVET and the use of flow cytometry and advanced fluorescence microscopy, the latest generation of GFP reporters allows the investigation of gene expression in individual bacterial cells within particular environments. These studies promise to bring a new level of understanding to the fields of bacterial pathogenesis and environmental microbiology.

Bordignon J, Comin F, Ferreira SC, Caporale GM, Lima Filho JH, Zanetti CR (2002) Calculating rabies virus neutralizing antibodies titres by flow cytometry. Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo 44 :151-154


The determination of the rabies neutralizing antibody (VNA) response after immunization against rabies is an acceptable index of the efficacy of a vaccine and a successful treatment. Several tests have been developed in attempt to improve the assessment of VNA, from mice inoculation to cell-culture fluorescence inhibition tests. All of them, however, present special difficulties in terms of reading or accuracy. The present study describes a neutralization test performed in cell-culture appraised by flow cytometry (FC). Serial dilutions of the serum samples were mixed in vitro with rabies virus before the addition of BHK-21 cells. After 24h-incubation, cells were released by trypsin treatment, fixed and permeabilized with a p-formaldehyde solution and stained with a rabies virus nucleocapsid protein-specific antibody conjugate. The percentage of virus infection inhibition caused by specific antibodies present in the serum were evaluated in a Beckton Dickinson FACSCalibur flow cytometer. A correlation curve between the IU/ml content and the percentage of infective inhibition was built with a reference serum and the VNA titers of serum samples were obtained by extrapolation. Titers obtained by FC and standard test showed an effective pairing results (p < 0.01), with a correlation coefficient (r) = 0.7. These results permit to envisage the FC as a suitable technique to evaluate VNA in sera from immunized animals and likely in human serum samples. Nevertheless, new studies comparing FC to gold-standard techniques are required for determining the FC values of Sensibility and Specificity.

Bordignon J, Pires Ferreira SC, Medeiros Caporale GM, Carrieri ML, Kotait I, Lima HC, Zanetti CR (2002) Flow cytometry assay for intracellular rabies virus detection. J Virol Methods 105 :181-186


Following previous studies reporting microbiological diagnosis by flow cytometry, the possibility of using this method was examined to monitor infection of susceptible cell lines by a fixed rabies virus strain (Pasteur Virus strain-PV) or a wild rabies virus strain (WRS). Suspensions of BHK-21 and C6 cells were infected with viruses and a time course of virus infection was established. Sequentially, at several time points, infected and control uninfected cells were fixed, permeabilized, and stained with a rabies virus-specific antibody conjugate. This was achieved by resuspending cells in a solution containing p-formaldehyde in FACS lysis fluid, which allowed the detection of intracellular virus with flourescein-coupled antibodies by flow cytometry. A Becton Dickinson FACSCalibur flow cytometer was used to analyze the percentage of cells infected and the kinetics of the infection process was determined. As early as 12 h after inoculation with both rabies virus strains, significant levels (P<0.01) of infection (from 4.7 to 7.1%) were detected by flow cytometry. The maximum level of infection was obtained at 48 h in C6 cells (88%) with both viruses. The advantages of this method for examination of intracellular virus infection are discussed.

Bozza S, Gaziano R, Lipford GB, Montagnoli C, Bacci A, Di Francesco P, Kurup VP, Wagner H, Romani L (2002) Vaccination of mice against invasive aspergillosis with recombinant Aspergillus proteins and CpG oligodeoxynucleotides as adjuvants. Microbes Infect 4 :1281-1290


In a murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, dendritic cells (DCs) pulsed with Aspergillus antigens induced the activation of CD4(+) Th1 cells capable of conferring resistance to the infection. Here we show that the combined, local delivery of unmethylated CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) and the Asp f 16 Aspergillus allergen resulted in the functional maturation and activation of airway DCs capable of inducing Th1 priming and resistance to the fungus. Therefore, ODNs act as a potent adjuvant for the vaccine-induced protection against the fungus by promoting dominant Th1 response to Aspergillus antigens and allergens.

Bumann D (2002) Examination of Salmonella gene expression in an infected mammalian host using the green fluorescent protein and two-colour flow cytometry. Mol Microbiol 43 :1269-1283


Quantitative data on Salmonella gene expression in infected hosts are largely lacking because of technical problems. One attractive reporter, the green fluorescent protein (GFP), is widely used in vitro but is difficult to quantify in infected tissues because of the preponderance of background particles with similar fluorescence. Here, bacterial GFP emission was spectrally distinguished from host autofluorescence by two-colour flow cytometry. Using this technique, the in vivo activity of three well-characterized promoters (PsicA, PssaH and PpagC) was determined. Their spatial and temporal activity patterns are in close agreement with predictions based on previous data and the colonization defects of corresponding deletion strains. To identify additional Salmonella promoters that are induced in infected animals, a genomic library was sorted by flow cytometry yielding four independent promoters. Genes expressed from PpibB and PsifA contribute to virulence, and chorismate mutase expressed from ParoQ might participate in aromatic acid biosynthesis, which is also required for virulence. Promoter P3g appears to be part of a mobile genetic element that is lacking in the completely sequenced strain LT2.

Bunthof CJ, Abee T (2002) Development of a flow cytometric method to analyze subpopulations of bacteria in probiotic products and dairy starters. Appl Environ Microbiol 68 :2934-2942


Flow cytometry (FCM) is a rapid and sensitive technique that can determine cell numbers and measure various physiological characteristics of individual cells by using appropriate fluorescent probes. Previously, we developed an FCM assay with the viability probes carboxyfluorescein diacetate (cFDA) and TOTO-1 [1’-(4,4,7,7-tetramethyl-4,7-diazaundecamethylene)-bis-4-[3-methyl-2,3dihy dro(benzo-1,3-oxazole)-2-methylidene]-1-(3’-trimethylammoniumpropyl)-pyrid inium tetraiodide] for (stressed) lactic acid bacteria (C. J. Bunthof, K. Bloemen, P. Breeuwer, F. M. Rombouts, and T. Abee, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 67:2326-2335, 2001). cFDA stains intact cells with enzymatic activity, and TOTO-1 stains membrane-permeabilized cells. Here we used this assay to study the viability of bacterial suspensions in milk, dairy fermentation starters, and probiotic products. To facilitate FCM analysis of bacteria in milk, a commercially available milk-clearing solution was used. The procedure was optimized to increase the signal-to-noise ratio. FCM enumerations were accurate down to a concentration of 10(5) cells ml(-1). The level of retrieval of Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS 1 suspended in milk was high, and viability was not affected by the procedure. The plate counts for cleared samples of untreated cell suspensions were nearly as high as the total FCM counts, and the correlation was strong (r > 0.99). In dairy fermentation starters and in probiotic products the FCM total cell counts were substantially higher than the numbers of CFU. Three functional populations could be distinguished : culturable cells, cells that are intact and metabolically active but not culturable, and permeabilized cells. The proportions of the populations differed in the products tested. This FCM method provides tools to assess the functionality of different populations in fermentation starters and probiotic products.

Buziol S, Bashir I, Baumeister A, Claassen W, Noisommit-Rizzi N, Mailinger W, Reuss M (2002) New bioreactor-coupled rapid stopped-flow sampling technique for measurements of metabolite dynamics on a subsecond time scale. Biotechnol Bioeng 80 :632-636


Knowledge of concentrations of intracellular metabolites is important for quantitative analysis of metabolic networks. As far as the very fast response of intracellular metabolites in the millisecond range is concerned, the frequently used pulse technique shows an inherent limitation. The time span between the disturbance and the first sample is constrained by the time necessary to obtain a homogeneous distribution of the pertubation within the bioreactor. For determination of rapid changes, a novel sampling technique based on the stopped-flow method has been developed. A continuous stream of biosuspension leaving the bioreactor is being mixed with a glucose solution in a turbulent mixing chamber. Through computer-aided activation of sequentially positioned three-way valves, different residence times and thus reaction times can be verified. The application of this new sampling method is illustrated with examples including measurements of adenine nucleotides and glucose-6-phosphate in Saccharomyces cerevisiae as well as measurements related to the PTS system in Escherichia coli.

Cakala M, Olszewski WL (2002) The response of the lymphatic system to the human skin resident bacteria. Ann Transplant 7 :30-35


We designed a study to identify skin bacterial strains producing most intensive changes in lymphoid tissue of the draining nodes and analyse the node cell phenotypes reacting to bacterial antigens. The obtained results were expected to help in establishing rational therapy in recipients of hand allografts. The highest level of activation of lymphoid tissue was found after inoculation with S. epidermidis, Acinetobacter, Enterobacter and Aerococcus. There was an increase in weight and cell concentration of nodes, intense expression of W3/25+ (CD4), OX6+ (class II), EDI+ (CD14), CD54+ and OX62+ cells in the paracortex and medulla 7 days after bacterial inoculation. The most advanced changes were seen after recall bacterial stimulation. Taken together, evident differences in the intensity of response to the investigated bacterial strains were found. The obtained information can be useful for establishing rational antibiotic therapy after composite graft transplantation.

Casamayor EO, Pedros-Alio C, Muyzer G, Amann R (2002) Microheterogeneity in 16S ribosomal DNA-defined bacterial populations from a stratified planktonic environment is related to temporal changes and to ecological adaptations. Appl Environ Microbiol 68 :1706-1714


Temporal changes of the bacterioplankton from a meromictic lake (Lake Vilar, Banyoles, Spain) were analyzed with four culture-independent techniques : epifluorescence microscopy, PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting, fluorescence in situ whole-cell hybridization and flow cytometry sorting. Microscopically, blooms of one cyanobacterium (Synechococcus sp.-like), one green sulfur bacterium (Chlorobium phaeobacteroides-like), and one purple sulfur bacterium (Thiocystis minor-like) were observed at different depths and times. DGGE retrieved these populations and, additionally, populations related to the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides phylum as predominant community members. The analyses of partial 16S ribosomal DNA sequences from the DGGE fingerprints (550 bp analyzed) revealed higher genetic diversity than expected from microscopic observation for most of these groups. Thus, the sequences of two Synechococcus spp. (both had a similarity of 97% to Synechococcus sp. strain PCC6307 in 16S rRNA), two Thiocystis spp. (similarities to Thiocystis minor of 93 and 94%, respectively), and three Cytophaga spp. (similarities to Cytophaga fermentans of 88 and 89% and to Cytophaga sp. of 93%, respectively) were obtained. The two populations of Synechococcus exhibited different pigment compositions and temporal distributions and their 16S rRNA sequences were 97.3% similar. The two Thiocystis populations differed neither in pigment composition nor in morphology, but their 16S rRNA sequences were only 92.3% similar and they also showed different distributions over time. Finally, two of the Cytophaga spp. showed 96.2% similarity between the 16S rRNA sequences, but one of them was found to be mostly attached to particles and only in winter. Thus, the identity of the main populations changed over time, but the function of the microbial guilds was maintained. Our data showed that temporal shifts in the identity of the predominant population is a new explanation for the environmental 16S rRNA microdiversity retrieved from microbial assemblages and support the hypothesis that clusters of closely related 16S rRNA environmental sequences may actually represent numerous closely related, yet ecologically distinct, populations.

Castan A, Enfors SO (2002) Formate accumulation due to DNA release in aerobic cultivations of Escherichia coli. Biotechnol Bioeng 77 :324-328


Three different aerobic fed-batch processes of Escherichia coli were studied, two for the production of a recombinant protein and one process with a wild-type E. coli strain. In all three processes, an accumulation of formate could be observed in the latter part of the process. Analysis of the concentration of DNA in the medium revealed that the release of DNA coincided with the accumulation of formate. It was found that increasing concentrations of DNA correlated in almost linearly increasing concentrations of formate. Formate accumulation is caused by mixed acid fermentation, although no oxygen limitation was measured with the DO electrode. It is proposed that extracellular DNA restrained mass transfer between the bulk medium and the cell. To investigate if the DNA accumulation caused formate production, DNA was removed by continuous feeding of a DNA binding polymer to the medium. The addition of the polymer decreased the content of free DNA in the broth and the formate was reassimilated. Furthermore, additional DNA early in the process resulted in early formate accumulation.

Chesnot T, Marly X, Chevalier S, Estevenon O, Bues M, Schwartzbrod J (2002) Optimised immunofluorescence procedure for enumeration of Cryptosporidium parvum oocyst suspensions. Water Res 36 :3283-3288


The aim of this study was to evaluate an optimised immunofluorescence assay in terms of the variability of sets of counts for Cryptosporidium parvum oocyst suspensions and data recovery and the reliability of the procedure. A coefficient of variation (CV) of 10% was determined to be the maximum value acceptable for count variability. It was found that the optimised IFA tested provided a high precision for the sets of enumerations for suspensions containing 800-20,000 oocysts/mL. The procedure was found to be robust and providing high recovery level (96.3%). In terms of counting precision, the technique described here approaches the performance of flow cytometry and surpasses other manual techniques with a CV of 10% for a concentration close to 800 oocysts/mL. The procedure described is particularly suitable for the production of seed doses and for other applications requiring the titration of oocyst suspensions with a high degree of precision and accuracy.

Chitarra LG, Langerak CJ, Bergervoet JH, van den Bulk RW (2002) Detection of the plant pathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. Campestris in seed extracts of Brassica sp. Applying fluorescent antibodies and flow cytometry. Cytometry 47 :118-126


BACKGROUND : Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc) is a seed-transmitted plant pathogenic bacterium that causes black rot of crucifers. Seed lots and plants are screened for contamination with this pathogen using plating or serological assays. These methods, however, are time consuming and not very sensitive, respectively. Therefore, flow cytometry (FCM) was evaluated as a tool for the rapid detection and quantification of Xcc cells labeled with a mixture of specific fluorescein isothicyanate (FITC)-monoclonal antibodies (mAb) in pure culture, in mixed cultures of Xcc with either the common saprophyte Pseudomonas fluorescens (Psf) or a nonpathogenic X. campestris isolate (Xc), and in crude seed extracts. METHODS : The mAb 18G12, conjugated with FITC, was tested at dilutions of 1:50, 1:100, 1:200, and 1:400. For mixed suspensions of Xcc and Psf, mAb 18G12 was used at a dilution of 1:100. The combination of mAbs 18G12, 2F4, and 20H6, all conjugated with FITC, was used at a dilution of 1:100 for the detection and quantification of Xcc cells in mixed suspensions containing Xcc and Xc and in crude seed extracts. The analyses were performed with a Coulter EPICS XL-MCL flow cytometer, at low flow rate during 2 min. RESULTS : Using FCM, Xcc cells labeled with FITC-conjugated mAbs (18G12, 2F4, and 20H6) were detected and quantified rapidly at low numbers, i.e., 10(3) colony-forming units per milliliter in pure and in mixed cultures with Psf. The presence of the nonpathogenic Xc in the seed extracts did not interfere with the FCM results. Xcc cells were distinguished from the cells of other organisms and from small particles present in the seed extract based on the high-intensity fluorescence of the labeled cells. CONCLUSION : The application of FCM in combination with FITC-conjugated mAbs appears to be a promising technique for the detection and quantification of Xcc cells in seed extracts of crucifers.

Cochlovius B, Stassar MJ, Schreurs MW, Benner A, Adema GJ (2002) Oral DNA vaccination : antigen uptake and presentation by dendritic cells elicits protective immunity. Immunol Lett 80 :89-96


Melanoma differentiation antigens, such as glycoprotein 100 (gp100), have been shown to induce both cellular and humoral immune responses against melanoma in mouse and man. They are therefore considered as potential targets for melanoma immunotherapy. In this study, we have used the attenuated auxotrophic mutant strain SL7207 of Salmonella typhimurium as vehicle for a human gp100 (hgp100) DNA vaccine against melanoma. In vitro studies indicate that Salmonella/pCMV-hgp100 is efficiently scavenged by dendritic cells, resulting in the expression of the hgp100 transcription unit in the DC. In addition, oral administration of Salmonella/pCMV-hgp100 results in the expression of hgp100 RNA and protein by cells exhibiting DC-morphology in mesenteric lymph nodes as soon as 3 days after vaccination. Analysis of the efficacy of the Salmonella/pCMV-hgp100 vaccine in the B16/hgp100 model demonstrated the induction of strong anti-hgp100 CTL responses and protective immunity in 70% of the vaccinated mice, but not in control mice. Based on these data, we consider S. typhimurium as a useful vehicle for the design of recombinant DNA based anti-cancer vaccines.

Cooke BM, Glenister FK, Mohandas N, Coppel RL (2002) Assignment of functional roles to parasite proteins in malaria-infected red blood cells by competitive flow-based adhesion assay. Br J Haematol 117 :203-211


Adhesion of parasitized red blood cells (PRBCs) to endothelial cells and subsequent accumulation in the microvasculature are pivotal events in the pathogenesis of falciparum malaria. During intraerythrocytic development, numerous proteins exported from the parasite associate with the RBC membrane skeleton but the precise function of many of these proteins remain unknown. Their cellular location, however, suggests that some may play a role in adhesion. The adhesive properties of PRBCs are best studied under flow conditions in vitro ; however, experimental variation in levels of cytoadherence in currently available assays make subtle alterations in adhesion difficult to quantify. Here, we describe a flow-based assay that can quantify small differences in adhesion and document the extent to which a number of parasite proteins influence adhesion using parasite lines that no longer express specific proteins. Loss of parasite proteins ring-infected erythrocyte surface antigen (RESA), knob-associated histidine-rich protein (KAHRP) or Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 3 (PfEMP3) had a significant effect on the ability of PRBCs to adhere, whereas loss of mature parasite-infected erythrocyte surface antigen (MESA) had no effect. Our studies indicate that a number of membrane skeleton-associated parasite proteins, although not exposed on the RBC surface, can collectively affect the adhesive properties of PRBCs and further our understanding of pathophysiologically relevant structure/function relationships in malaria-infected RBCs.

Coteur G, DeBecker G, Warnau M, Jangoux M, Dubois P (2002) Differentiation of immune cells challenged by bacteria in the common European starfish, Asterias rubens (Echinodermata). Eur J Cell Biol 81 :413-418


Amoebocytes are the main effector cells of the echinoderm immune system. In starfishes, a taxon in which bacterial diseases have been rarely reported, amoebocytes are considered to be the only circulating and immune cell type. The present paper addresses the question of amoebocyte differentiation in the starfish Asterias rubens when challenged by bacteria. Starfishes were injected with FITC-coupled bacteria (Micrococcus luteus). Amoebocytes were collected at regular time intervals for 24 h. The cytometric characteristics and the phagocytic activity were studied by flow cytometry. Three amoebocyte groups of different size were identified. The cell concentrations of the two largest and more numerous of these groups (G2 and G3) were modulated by immune stimulation while the group of smallest, less numerous, cells (G1) was unaffected. All of these cell groups were phagocytic but their kinetics of cell activation and bacteria ingestion differed. G1 cells showed the lowest phagocytic activity while G3 cells had the highest and fastest phagocytic activity. Starfish amoebocytes appear to be segregated in three groups, two of them (G2 and G3) being immunomodulated and one of them presenting a very fast reaction to bacteria. It is suggested that the high efficiency of the immune system in starfishes is related to this fast reaction.

Davey HM (2002) Flow cytometric techniques for the detection of microorganisms. Methods Cell Sci 24 :91-97


Flow cytometry (FCM) is a technique, which allows one to analyse cells rapidly and individually, and permits the quantitative analysis of distributions of a property or properties in a population. It therefore offers many advantages over conventional measurements for the analysis of biological cells. Historically the technique has been widely applied for the study of mammalian cells, but its use in microbiology has been more limited ; this is mainly a consequence of the smaller size of microbes, which results in the smaller optical signals that can be obtained from them. Developments in light sources and optics, together with brighter, spectrally-diverse dyes have reduced this barrier over recent years and the flow cytometer is now an essential tool in many microbiological research establishments. FCM has an increasing role to play in the detection of microbes in both industrial and clinical settings. Environmental monitoring to prevent outbreaks of human diseases such as cryptosporidiosis and Legionnaires’ disease and to detect acts of biowarfare or bioterrorism are all amenable to flow cytometric study. This review seeks to highlight the role of the flow cytometer in the detection of microbial cells.

Day JP, Kell DB, Griffith GW (2002) Differentiation of Phytophthora infestans sporangia from other airborne biological particles by flow cytometry. Appl Environ Microbiol 68 :37-45


The ability of two different flow cytometers, the Microcyte (Optoflow) and the PAS-III (Partec), to differentiate sporangia of the late-blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans from other potential airborne particles was compared. With the PAS-III, light scatter and intrinsic fluorescence parameters could be used to differentiate sporangia from conidia of Alternaria or Botrytis spp., rust urediniospores, and pollen of grasses and plantain. Differentiation between P. infestans sporangia and powdery mildew conidia was not possible by these two methods but, when combined with analytical rules evolved by genetic programming methods, could be achieved after staining with the fluorescent brightener Calcofluor white M2R. The potential application of these techniques to the prediction of late-blight epiphytotics in the field is discussed.

Delanghe JR, Langlois MR, Wuyts B, De Buyzere ML (2002) Performance of urinary flow cytometry in predicting outcome of urine cultures. J Clin Microbiol 40 :2314-2315 ; author reply 2315


D’Haese E, Nelis HJ (2002) Rapid detection of single cell bacteria as a novel approach in food microbiology. J AOAC Int 85 :979-983


Solid-phase cytometry (SPC) is a novel technique that allows rapid detection of bacteria at the single cell level, without the need for a growth phase. After filtration of the sample, the retained microorganisms are fluorescently labeled on the membrane filter and automatically counted by a laser scanning device. Each fluorescent spot can be visually inspected with an epifluorescence microscope connected to the ChemScan by a computer-driven moving stage. Depending on the fluorogenic labels used, information on the identity and the physiological status of the microorganisms can be obtained within a few hours. Although SPC was originally recommended for the determination of the total viable microbial count in water and other liquid samples, it may also be a promising technique for the detection and enumeration of bacteria in food samples, provided they can be isolated from the unfilterable matrix. The short detection time inherent in this approach is a considerable advantage over conventional plate counting, especially for slow-growing microorganisms. The basic principles of SPC are discussed as well as its potential for the detection of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, a model example of a slow-growing bacterium in milk.

Doroshenko T, Chaly Y, Savitskiy V, Maslakova O, Portyanko A, Gorudko I, Voitenok NN (2002) Phagocytosing neutrophils down-regulate the expression of chemokine receptors CXCR1 and CXCR2. Blood 100 :2668-2671


CXC chemokines play a central role in regulation of neutrophil activation and chemotaxis. Because the chemotactic responses of neutrophils are impaired after phagocytosis, we explored the effect of phagocytic stimuli on the expression of interleukin-8 (IL-8) receptors, CXCR1 and CXCR2, in human neutrophils. After phagocytosis of opsonized yeast, the expression of CXCR1 and CXCR2 was substantially down-regulated and was accompanied by reduced Ca(++) responses to corresponding ligands, IL-8 and neutrophil-activating peptide-2 (NAP-2). The levels of CXCR1 and CXCR2 mRNA were constant during phagocytic stimulation of neutrophils. Confocal microscopy revealed that CXCR reduction was not via internalization. Metalloproteinase inhibitor, 1,10-phenantroline, prevented the reduction of CXCRs induced by phagocytosis, indicating that proteolytic degradation may be responsible for down-regulation. These observations suggest that down-regulation of CXCR expression may substantially reduce the responsiveness of phagocytosing neutrophils to CXC chemokines.

Eggers CH, Caimano MJ, Clawson ML, Miller WG, Samuels DS, Radolf JD (2002) Identification of loci critical for replication and compatibility of a Borrelia burgdorferi cp32 plasmid and use of a cp32-based shuttle vector for the expression of fluorescent reporters in the lyme disease spirochaete. Mol Microbiol 43 :281-295


The 32kb circular plasmid (cp32) family of Borrelia burgdorferi has been the subject of intensive investigation because its members encode numerous differentially expressed lipoproteins. As many as nine different cp32s appear to be capable of stable replication within a single spirochaete. Here, we show that a construct (pCE310) containing a 4 kb fragment from the putative maintenance region of a B. burgdorferi CA-11.2A cp32 was capable of autonomous replication in both high-passage B. burgdorferi B31 and virulent B. burgdorferi 297. Deletion analysis revealed that only the member of paralogous family 57 and the adjacent non-coding segment were essential for replication. The PF32 ParA orthologue encoded by the pCE310 insert was almost identical to the PF32 orthologues encoded on the B31 and 297 cp32-3 plasmids. The finding that cp32-3 was selectively deleted in both B31 and 297 transformants carrying pCE310 demonstrated the importance of the PF32 protein for cp32 compatibility and confirmed the prediction that cp32 plasmids expressing identical PF32 paralogues are incompatible. A shuttle vector containing the CA-11.2A cp32 plasmid maintenance region was used to introduce green, yellow and cyan fluorescent protein reporters into B. burgdorferi. Flow cytometry revealed that the green fluorescent protein was well expressed by almost 90% of both avirulent and infectious transformants. In addition to enhancing our understanding of B. burgdorferi plasmid biology, our results further the development of genetic systems for dissecting pathogenic mechanisms in Lyme disease.

Elmshauser C, Bechtel J, Motta I, Schipke C, Kettenmann H, Schmalbruch H, Kann M, Beck E, Chen U (2002) Characterization of a mouse tet-on glia precursor cell line in vitro and in vivo using the electrophysiological measurement. J Physiol Paris 96 :329-338


We report here a partial characterization of a "tet-on" glia O2A precursor cell line established from the reverse tetracycline-transactivator (rtTA)-SV40 T antigen (Tag) double transgenic mice. In culture, withdrawal of doxycycline prevents proliferation and the cell line undergoes apoptosis. Importantly, differentiation into type-2-astrocytes and oligodendrocytes can be induced when the cell line is cultured, in the absence of doxycycline, and with epithelial stem cell lines secreting hIL3 or hIL6. In contrast, no maturation into progeny was observed when a hCNTF-secreting cell line was used as the co-culture partner under the same condition. In order to address the question of whether the morphological distinct cells-spindle and stellar shaped cells are of a similar or different cell types, we have performed cell size analysis of these cells by FACS and electro-physiology measurement by the patch clamping technique. They are of a similar cell size, but poses distinct electrophysiological properties-spindle cells are less mature than the stellar cells. These tet-on glia O2A precursor cells were implanted to sites of transected sciatic nerve of adult mice and kept in the precursor stage by feeding mice with doxycycline containing drinking water. The toe movement of injured foot was measured every 3 weeks and the electrophysiological property of motor neuron was determined three months after the operation. Preliminary data have shown that these tet-on glia precursor cells are not toxic to the implanted hosts and can enhance the recovery of damaged motor nerves.

Faber M, Pulmanausahakul R, Hodawadekar SS, Spitsin S, McGettigan JP, Schnell MJ, Dietzschold B (2002) Overexpression of the rabies virus glycoprotein results in enhancement of apoptosis and antiviral immune response. J Virol 76 :3374-3381


A recombinant rabies virus (RV) carrying two identical glycoprotein (G) genes (SPBNGA-GA) was constructed and used to determine the effect of RV G overexpression on cell viability and immunity. Immunoprecipitation analysis and flow cytometry showed that tissue culture cells infected with SPBNGA-GA produced, on average, twice as much RV G as cells infected with RV carrying only a single RV G gene (SPBNGA). The overexpression of RV G in SPBNGA-GA-infected NA cells was paralleled by a significant increase in caspase 3 activity followed by a marked decrease in mitochondrial respiration, neither of which was observed in SPBNGA-infected cells. Furthermore, fluorescence staining and confocal microscopy revealed an increased extent of apoptosis and markedly reduced neurofilament and F actin in SPBNGA-GA-infected primary neuron cultures compared with neuronal cells infected with SPBNGA, supporting the concept that RV G or motifs of the RV G gene trigger the apoptosis cascade. Mice immunized with SPBNGA-GA showed substantially higher antibody titers against the RV G and against the nucleoprotein than SPBNGA-immunized mice, suggesting that the speed or extent of apoptosis directly determines the magnitude of the antibody response.

Flaminio MJ, Rush BR, Davis EG, Hennessy K, Shuman W, Wilkerson MJ (2002) Simultaneous flow cytometric analysis of phagocytosis and oxidative burst activity in equine leukocytes. Vet Res Commun 26 :85-92


This paper describes a method for simultaneously measuring phagocytosis and oxidative burst activity in equine peripheral blood leukocytes by flow cytometry. Opsonized propidium iodide-labelled Staphylococcus aureus (PI-Sa) was used to measure the uptake of bacteria by equine phacocytes and the oxidative burst activity by oxidation of dihydrorhodamine 123. The requirements to achieve optimal activity of phagocytosis and oxidative burst are described. The advantage of the simultaneous technique is that it provides both independent and comparative values for phagocytosis and the oxidative burst, for the detection of impaired mechanisms of microbial destruction. Furthermore, the technique allows evaluation of opsonization activity in this context.

Forster S, Snape JR, Lappin-Scott HM, Porter J (2002) Simultaneous fluorescent gram staining and activity assessment of activated sludge bacteria. Appl Environ Microbiol 68 :4772-4779


Wastewater treatment is one of the most important commercial biotechnological processes, and yet the component bacterial populations and their associated metabolic activities are poorly understood. The novel fluorescent dye hexidium iodide allows assessment of Gram status by differential absorption through bacterial cell walls. Differentiation between gram-positive and gram-negative wastewater bacteria was achieved after flow cytometric analysis. This study shows that the relative proportions of gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial cells identified by traditional microscopy and hexidium iodide staining were not significantly different. Dual staining of cells for Gram status and activity proved effective in analyzing mixtures of cultured bacteria and wastewater populations. Levels of highly active organisms at two wastewater treatment plants, both gram positive and gram negative, ranged from 1.5% in activated sludge flocs to 16% in the activated sludge fluid. Gram-positive organisms comprised <5% of the total bacterial numbers but accounted for 19 and 55% of the highly active organisms within flocs at the two plants. Assessment of Gram status and activity within activated sludge samples over a 4-day period showed significant differences over time. This method provides a rapid, quantitative measure of Gram status linked with in situ activity within wastewater systems.

Frank MG, Wieseler Frank JL, Hendricks SE, Burke WJ, Johnson DR (2002) Age at onset of major depressive disorder predicts reductions in NK cell number and activity. J Affect Disord 71 :159-167


BACKGROUND : Major depressive disorder (MDD) has been associated with altered immunologic parameters including reductions in natural killer cell activity (NKCA). It remains largely unknown, however, whether alterations in immune function characterize homogeneous sub-groups of MDD. The present study addressed the question of whether age at onset of index episode and/or duration of the present episode of MDD predicted alterations in NKCA and NK cell number. METHODS : Participants met DSM-IV criteria for MDD. Age at onset of MDD, duration of the present episode, demographics, and comorbidity were obtained by SCID for all subjects (n = 36). Severity and symptom pattern of MDD was assessed by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. NKCA was measured using a standard chromium-release cytotoxicity assay and NK number assessed by flow cytometry. RESULTS : Age at onset of MDD significantly predicted variance in NK cell number and NKCA. Consistent with previous studies, sleep disturbance and psychomotor retardation possessed significant explanatory power for variance in NK cell number and NKCA, respectively. LIMITATIONS : Measures of age at onset of MDD and duration of the present episode were obtained by self-report and thus recall bias may attenuate the reliability of the present findings. The present study design also precludes conclusions regarding the temporal association between alterations in NK cells and MDD. CONCLUSIONS : We propose that immunologic alterations, characterized by a suppression of NKCA and NK cell number concomitant with proinflammatory processes, may constitute an immunologic phenotype unique to early-age-onset depression and may be salient factors in the pathogenesis of depression.

Gauthier C, St-Pierre Y, Villemur R (2002) Rapid antimicrobial susceptibility testing of urinary tract isolates and samples by flow cytometry. J Med Microbiol 51 :192-200


A multiparametric flow cytometry antimicrobial susceptibility test was developed and its performance was evaluated on clinical urine isolates and samples in comparison with standard methods. Alterations in cytoplasmic membrane integrity were monitored by propidium iodide, and the anionic probe bis-(1,3-dibutylbarbituric acid) trimethine oxonol (DiBAC4(3)) was used to measure changes in membrane potential. Microbial size and cellular content were analysed by light scattering. Twelve antibiotics were tested on 6 ATCC control strains, 22 urine isolates and 19 clinical urine samples, variously containing Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis, Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, S. saprophyticus and S. epidermidis. Agreement between the flow cytometry results, broth microdilution and disk diffusion tests was 93.9% (n = 328 tests). Of the 20 discrepancies observed, 18 were for species other than E. coli. Perfect correlation was obtained with five antibiotics, whereas norfloxacin, nitrofurantoin and tetracycline were responsible for 13(65%) of the 20 discrepancies.

Gill PS, Krueger GG, Kohan DE (2002) Doxycycline-inducible retroviral expression of green fluorescent protein in immortalized human keratinocytes. Exp Dermatol 11 :266-274


Keratinocytes have a great potential to deliver systemically therapeutic genes, and a regulatable switch technology for transgene expression in this cell type would greatly enhance their clinical value for cutaneous gene therapy. We describe a method wherein immortalized human keratinocytes (IMKc) are transduced with high efficiency with retroviral vectors of the RetroTet-Art system, which confers stable doxycycline (Dox)-regulated green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression. In this RetroTet-Art system the TCN transactivators and TCN transrepressors are coexpressed in cells. After one round of transduction, approximately 50% of IMKc expressed GFP ; after puromycin selection over 90% of cells expressed GFP. With this retroviral vector system no baseline expression of GFP was observed in the genetically modified IMKcs. Dox treatment of these transduced cells induced GFP expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Peak GFP expression occurred after 72 h of Dox treatment and dropped to baseline when Dox was removed. These multiply transduced cells formed differentiated epidermis in vitro and the Dox treatment did not induce evidence of toxicity in the architecture of the epidermis. Our observations demonstrate an efficient method for achieving stable Dox-regulatable transgene expression in human keratinocytes.

Giomarelli B, Provvedi R, Meacci F, Maggi T, Medaglini D, Pozzi G, Mori T, McMahon JB, Gardella R, Boyd MR (2002) The microbicide cyanovirin-N expressed on the surface of commensal bacterium Streptococcus gordonii captures HIV-1. Aids 16 :1351-1356


OBJECTIVE : To explore the feasibility of expressing the potent HIV-inactivating protein, cyanovirin-N (CV-N), in the human commensal bacterium Streptococcus gordonii, as a possible approach for local delivery of CV-N to prevent sexual transmission of HIV-1. DESIGN AND METHODS : To express CV-N in S. gordonii, we used the host-vector system we had previously developed. CV-N was expressed as a fusion protein both attached to the bacterial surface and secreted in soluble form in the supernatant of liquid cultures. The soluble form of recombinant CV-N was tested for gp120-binding activity in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, whereas S. gordonii strain expressing CV-N on the surface was analyzed in an in vitro HIV capturing assay. RESULTS : Two recombinant S. gordonii strains secreting or displaying CV-N on the bacterial surface were constructed and the expression of CV-N was confirmed by immunoblot and flow-cytometric analysis. The secreted form of recombinant CV-N exhibited a concentration-dependent binding to the envelope glycoprotein gp120 of HIV-1, whereas CV-N displayed on the bacterial surface was able to capture HIV virions efficiently. CONCLUSION : The anti-HIV protein CV-N in S. gordonii was expressed in a biologically active form. This represents a first step in the development of a system to deliver and maintain an effective concentration of a microbicide in the vaginal mucosa.

Gitlin L, Karelsky S, Andino R (2002) Short interfering RNA confers intracellular antiviral immunity in human cells. Nature 418 :430-434


Gene silencing mediated by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) is a sequence-specific, highly conserved mechanism in eukaryotes. In plants, it serves as an antiviral defence mechanism. Animal cells also possess this machinery but its specific function is unclear. Here we demonstrate that dsRNA can effectively protect human cells against infection by a rapidly replicating and highly cytolytic RNA virus. Pre-treatment of human and mouse cells with double-stranded, short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to the poliovirus genome markedly reduces the titre of virus progeny and promotes clearance of the virus from most of the infected cells. The antiviral effect is sequence-specific and is not attributable to either classical antisense mechanisms or to interferon and the interferon response effectors protein kinase R (PKR) and RNaseL. Protection is the result of direct targeting of the viral genome by siRNA, as sequence analysis of escape virus (resistant to siRNAs) reveals one nucleotide substitution in the middle of the targeted sequence. Thus, siRNAs elicit specific intracellular antiviral resistance that may provide a therapeutic strategy against human viruses.

Graefe SE, Wiesgigl M, Gaworski I, Macdonald A, Clos J (2002) Inhibition of HSP90 in Trypanosoma cruzi induces a stress response but no stage differentiation. Eukaryot Cell 1 :936-943


The 90-kDa heat shock proteins (HSP90) are important in the regulation of numerous intracellular processes in eukaryotic cells. In particular, HSP90 has been shown to be involved in the control of the cellular differentiation of the protozoan parasite Leishmania donovani. We investigated the role of HSP90 in the related parasite Trypanosoma cruzi by inhibiting its function using geldanamycin (GA). GA induced a dose-dependent increase in heat shock protein levels and a dose-dependent arrest of proliferation. Epimastigotes were arrested in G(1) phase of the cell cycle, but no stage differentiation occurred. Blood form trypomastigotes showed conversion towards spheromastigote-like forms when they were cultivated with GA, but differentiation into epimastigotes was permanently blocked. We conclude that, similar to leishmanial HSP90, functional HSP90 is essential for cell division in T. cruzi and serves as a feedback inhibitor in the cellular stress response. In contrast to L. donovani cells, however, T. cruzi cells treated with GA do not begin to differentiate into relevant life cycle stages.

Groben R, Medlin LK (2002) Meeting report : EU workshop "Analysis of Single Cells in the Marine Phytoplankton" (ASCMAP), Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany, April 15-21, 2002. Protist 153 :193-195


Gu F, Ma X, Lux R, Shi W (2002) Production and characterization of species-specific monoclonal antibodies against Actinomyces naeslundii and Lactobacillus casei. Hybrid Hybridomics 21 :469-478


Dental caries is a disease induced by a few cariogenic bacterial species. Quantitative detection of these cariogenic bacteria could provide useful information for caries risk assessment. In this study, we developed highly species-specific monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against the type strains of Actinomyces naeslundii ATCC 12104 and Lactobacillus casei ATCC 11578. Assayed with immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescent microscopy, these antibodies showed high sensitivities and specificities in detecting A. naeslundii and L. casei in saliva. Examining 100 saliva samples using these MAb-based techniques, we found that the number of A. naeslundii in saliva ranges from 0.5 x 10(4) to 4.8 x 10(5) and that the number of L. casei in saliva ranges from 1 x 10(4) to 1.2 x 10(6). With fluorescent imaging techniques and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), these antibodies were used to visualize A. naeslundii and L. casei within dental plaques derived from stimulated whole human saliva in vitro. The study demonstrated that these MAbs were also able to effectively detect A. naeslundii and L. casei in plaque.

Guilbert LJ, Winkler-Lowen B, Sherburne R, Rote NS, Li H, Morrish DW (2002) Preparation and functional characterization of villous cytotrophoblasts free of syncytial fragments. Placenta 23 :175-183


Recent studies suggest that purified villous cytotrophoblasts are largely contaminated by mononucleated syncytial fragments and therefore unsuitable for studies of trophoblast differentiation. We assessed highly purified (>99.99 per cent) populations of villous trophoblasts for fragment contamination using the syncytial markers placental alkaline phosphatase (PLAP, by immunohistochemistry) and exteriorized phosphatidyl serine (ePS, by flow cytometric analysis). The preparations contained from 4-46 per cent syncytial fragments. However, we find that PLAP negative cells preferentially adhere to tissue culture surfaces and that all preparations were <2> http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=12086176 ]

A flow cytometric protocol to detect and enumerate heterotrophic nanoflagellates (HNF) in enriched waters is reported. At present, the cytometric protocols that allow accurate quantification of bacterioplankton cannot be used to quantify protozoa for the following reasons : i) the background produced by the bacterial acquisitions does not allow the discrimination of protozoa at low abundance, ii) since the final protozoan fluorescence is much higher than the bacterioplankton fluorescence (more than 35 fold) the protozoa acquisitions lie outside the range. With an increase in the fluorescence threshold and a reduction of the fluorescence detector voltage, low fluorescence particles (bacteria) are beneath the detection limits and only higher fluorescence particles (most of them heterotrophic nanoflagellates) are detected. The main limitation for the application of the cytometric protocol developed is that a ratio of bacteria/HNF below 1000 is needed. At higher ratios, the background of larger cells of bacterioplankton makes it difficult to discriminate protozoa. The proposed protocol has been validated by epifluorescence microscopy analyzing both a mixed community and two single species of HFN : Rhynchomonas nasuta and Jakoba libera. Taking into account the required bacteria/HNF ratio cited above, the results provide evidence that the flow cytometric protocol reported here is valid for counting mixed communities of HNF in enriched seawater and in experimental micro or mesocosms. In the case of single species of HNF previous knowledge of the biological characteristics of the protist and how they can affect the effectiveness of the flow cytometric count is necessary.

Guo X, Wang L, Yuan Y (2002) [Association between Helicobacter pylori cagA strain infection and expression of cyclooxygenase 2 in gastric carcinoma]. Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi 82 :868-871


OBJECTIVE : To observe the expression of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) in tissues of human gastric cancer and explore the association between Helicobacter pylori cagA strain infection and the expression of COX-2 so as to provide a theoretical basis for early prevention of gastric cancer. METHODS : Flow cytometry was adopted to quantitatively determine and analyze the expression of COX-2 in 31 specimens of gastric cancer and normal juxta cancerous tissues. PCR was used to detect the cagA gene in gastric cancer. RESULTS : COX-2 was over-expressed in 26 of the 31 (84%) specimens of gastric cancer. The expression of COX-2 in the 18 specimens of gastric cancer with cagA positive strain infection was significantly higher than that in the 13 specimens with cagA negative strain infection. CONCLUSION : COX-2 is over-expressed in gastric cancer and cagA positive strain infection up-regulates the expression of COX-2 in gastric cancer. There may be another way or channel to regulate the expression of COX-2 in gastric cancer besides cagA positive strain infection. Therefore, applying COX-2 selective inhibitors to prevent gastric cancer can be an effective and promising way.

Hahn G, Khan H, Baldanti F, Koszinowski UH, Revello MG, Gerna G (2002) The human cytomegalovirus ribonucleotide reductase homolog UL45 is dispensable for growth in endothelial cells, as determined by a BAC-cloned clinical isolate of human cytomegalovirus with preserved wild-type characteristics. J Virol 76 :9551-9555


An endothelial cell-tropic and leukotropic human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) clinical isolate was cloned as a fusion-inducing factor X-bacterial artificial chromosome in Escherichia coli, and the ribonucleotide reductase homolog UL45 was deleted. Reconstituted virus RVFIX and RV Delta UL45 grew equally well in human fibroblasts and human endothelial cells. Thus, UL45 is dispensable for growth of HCMV in both cell types.

Hendricks A, Schuberth HJ, Schueler K, Lloyd DH (2002) Frequency of superantigen-producing Staphylococcus intermedius isolates from canine pyoderma and proliferation-inducing potential of superantigens in dogs. Res Vet Sci 73 :273-277


This preliminary study investigated the potential role of staphylococcal superantigens in the pathogenesis of canine pyoderma. The staphylococcal enterotoxins A (SEA), SEB, SEC and SED, and the toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1) were assayed in isolates from skins of dogs with pyoderma. Culture supernatants from 25 of 96 isolates were positive for multiple superantigens, with SEA and SEC being the most frequently detected. In in vitro stimulation of canine peripheral blood mononuclear cells and quantitative flow cytometry revealed that low concentrations of SEA and SEB were potent stimulators of blastogenesis of T cells.

Holtzendorff J, Marie D, Post AF, Partensky F, Rivlin A, Hess WR (2002) Synchronized expression of ftsZ in natural Prochlorococcus populations of the Red Sea. Environ Microbiol 4 :644-653


The expression of ftsZ, encoding the initiating protein of the prokaryotic cell division was analysed in natural Prochlorococcus populations in the Gulf of Aqaba, northern Red Sea. During the seasonal Prochlorococcus bloom in September 2000, picoplankton was collected from the deep chlorophyll maximum (DCM) at 2-4 h intervals over 3 consecutive days. Flow cytometric measurements as well as DNA sequence analyses showed that Prochlorococcus was the dominant photosynthetic organism. Cell densities peaked as high as 1.4 x 10(5) cells ml(-1). This DCM population mainly consisted of brightly red fluorescing Prochlorococcus cells, corresponding to low light-adapted ’ecotypes’ (sensu Moore et al., 1998, Nature 393 : 464-467). Prochlorococcus populations grew in a highly synchronized fashion with DNA replication in the afternoon and cell division during the night. The ftsZ mRNA level reached maximum values within the replication phase between 14.00 and 16.00 hours, and minimum values between 02.00 and 06.00 hours. Thus, the transcriptional regulation of ftsZ could be a major factor triggering the synchronized cell division of Prochlorococcus populations. This is the first application of quantitative reverse transcriptase-coupled real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to natural populations of an environmentally relevant marine organism.

Howell JC, Yoder MC, Srour EF (2002) Hematopoietic potential of murine skeletal muscle-derived CD45(-)Sca-1(+)c-kit(-) cells. Exp Hematol 30 :915-924


OBJECTIVE : Somatic stem cells, which are poorly defined in postnatal mammalian tissues, are attractive candidates for examination of stem cell plasticity. Our goal was to determine the identity of neonatal muscle-derived cells that contain hematopoietic potential and to explore the status of CD45 expression on these cells. MATERIALS AND METHODS : Skeletal muscle from thighs of 4- to 7-day-old mice was harvested, enzymatically digested, and flow cytometrically sorted to yield CD45(-)Sca-1(+)c-kit(-) cells. These cells were examined in hematopoietic colony-forming assays and competitive repopulation assays, and were expanded ex vivo. Additionally, CD45, c-kit, PU.1, and beta globin major expression was tracked over time in cultured cells to assess the possibility of manipulating stem cell differentiation in vitro. RESULTS : Freshly isolated CD45(-)Sca-1(+)c-kit(-) cells were devoid of hematopoietic lineage markers and contained no colony-forming activity but displayed superior long-term competitive repopulating ability when compared to freshly isolated muscle-derived CD45(+)Sca-1(+)c-kit(+) cells. CD45(-)Sca-1(+)c-kit(-) cells expanded ex vivo in 5 ng/mL murine stem cell factor, mFlt-3L, and megakaryocyte growth and development factor (MGDF) for 9 days increased their in vivo hematopoietic repopulating potential 5.3-fold relative to fresh cells. Although fresh cells did not transcribe mRNA of several hematopoietic genes, a small fraction of cells cultured for 9 days acquired cell surface c-kit, and only these cells expressed c-kit and PU.1 mRNA and maintained competitive repopulating ability, suggesting at least myeloid and perhaps lymphoid developmental potential. CONCLUSION : Neonatal murine muscle-derived cells expressing the phenotype CD45(-)Sca-1(+) c-kit(-) are putative adult somatic stem cells with in vitro and in vivo hematopoietic differentiation potential.

Hung CH, Peccia J, Zilles JL, Noguera DR (2002) Physical enrichment of polyphosphate-accumulating organisms in activated sludge. Water Environ Res 74 :354-361


Two methods that physically separate polyphosphate-accumulating organisms (PAO) from other organisms in activated sludge were developed. The first method used 4’6-diamidino-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride (DAPI) to selectively stain PAO. When excited with light at 340 nm, polyphosphate granules in DAPI-stained cells fluoresce yellow while cells without polyphosphate fluoresce blue. This difference in fluorescent response was used to separate PAO from non-PAO using flow cytometry. The second method consisted of a simple gradient centrifugation to physically separate PAO from non-PAO based on their density differences. Both methods produced cell suspensions with an increased PAO concentration. From an average PAO concentration of approximately 14% in a full-scale process, the DAPI-flow cytometry method produced sorted samples with PAO representing more than 70% of the total cells, while the density gradient method produced an approximate 43 to 48% PAO enrichment. The physical enrichment methods described herein should facilitate the identification and study of PAO that are relevant in full-scale enhanced biological phosphorus removal processes.

Imashuku S, Teramura T, Hibi S, Morimoto A (2002) Molecular diagnosis and recent therapeutic results of fatal infectious mononucleosis. Am J Clin Pathol 118 :805-806


Johnson LG, Murano EA (2002) Lack of a cytolethal distending toxin among Arcobacter isolates from various sources. J Food Prot 65 :1789-1795


Arcobacter has been shown to be present in numerous different sources, including poultry, water, and humans exhibiting gastroenteritis. The production of a cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) has been documented in Campylobacter, Helicobacter, and other species. The polymerase chain reaction was used to screen Arcobacter isolates from poultry, cattle, irrigation water, and human diarrhea for the presence of CDT genes. Cell filtrates and sonic extracts were also tested for CDT-like activity on Chinese Hamster Ovary, HeLa, and Intestinal 407 (INT407) cells in culture. No CDT amplimers were observed in any of the Arcobacter isolates investigated. However, toxicity to HeLa and INT407 cells was observed and was subsequently analyzed for cell cycle arrest in the presence of the Arcobacter extracts with flow cytometry. Cells treated with Arcobacter sonic extracts and filtrates exhibited normal cell cycles, suggesting that CDT is not expressed by Arcobacter. Thus, Arcobacter was shown to produce an entity that was toxic to some cells in culture, but this entity was toxic in a manner different from that of Campylobacter CDT.

Jones LP, Zheng HQ, Karron RA, Peret TC, Tsou C, Anderson LJ (2002) Multiplex assay for detection of strain-specific antibodies against the two variable regions of the G protein of respiratory syncytial virus. Clin Diagn Lab Immunol 9 :633-638


The role of strain differences in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) disease has not been clearly defined. To investigate the possibility that strain differences contribute to susceptibility to repeat infections, we developed assays to detect antibodies to the two variable regions of the RSV G protein by cloning and expressing the internal variable region at amino acids (aa) 60 to 172 (g1) and the carboxy-terminal variable region at aa 193 to the carboxy terminus (g2) from different genotypes of RSV. The purified proteins were covalently linked to beads with different proportions of red and orange fluorescent dyes and reacted against serum specimens. Antibody reacting against the differently colored beads, and thus against different G polypeptides, was detected by use of flow cytometry and the Luminex system. This assay system detected group- and, to some extent, genotype-specific responses to RSV infection and can be used to investigate the role of strain differences in RSV disease.

Kato S, Bowman DD (2002) Using flow cytometry to determine the viability of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts extracted from spiked environmental samples in chambers. Parasitol Res 88 :326-331


Cryptosporidium parvum oocyst viability was determined by a dye permeability assay using a flow cytometric method. Oocysts were inoculated into small chambers with soil and biosolids. Oocysts extracted from soil and biosolids were then stained with propidium iodide (PI) and labeled with a fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-conjugated monoclonal antibody. The oocyst population in each sample was determined using forward and side scatter plots, then further analyzed with fluorescence. A red and green fluorescence detector using gates established single populations of unstained, PI-stained, or FITC-labeled oocysts. No statistical difference was observed between viability of oocysts extracted from soil and biosolids as determined by either flow cytometry or microscopy. The location of excysted oocysts was changed in forward and side scatter plots. Results indicated that, although oocysts are not identified if they excyst, the flow cytometric method could be used to determine oocyst viability from spiked environmental samples.

Kawaharasaki M, Manome A, Kanagaw T, Nakamura K (2002) Flow cytometric sorting and RFLP analysis of phosphate accumulating bacteria in an enhanced biological phosphorus removal system. Water Sci Technol 46 :139-144


Phosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs) stained with 4’,6-diamidino-2-phenylindol dihydrochloride (DAPI) at polyphosphate probing concentration were sorted from enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) sludge by flow cytometric sorting. All the genome DNA was extracted from the sorted bacteria and the 16S rDNA genes were cloned. Cloned 16S rDNA was PCR-amplified and analyzed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. Eighty eight clones were analyzed and the RFLP patterns which appeared more than twice were classified into seven groups. The most dominant group (Group 1) contained four clones and accounted for 4.5% of the total clones. Four groups (from Group 2 to Group 5) contained three clones. Group 6 and 7 consisted of two clones. Sixty-eight clones gave unique RFLP patterns. By sequencing 16S rDNA in seven groups, Group 1, 2 and 5 were Rhodocyclus relatives (11%, 10/88). Rhodocyclus relatives were suggested to be one of the bacteria responsible for EBPR in this sludge. Groups 6 and 7 were related to b- or g-Proteobacteria. Group 4 belonged to e-Proteobacteria. Group 3 was related to green nonsulfur bacteria. Considering the complex RFLP pattern and the existence of the groups not related to Rhodocyclus by sequence analysis, in this EBPR system, together with Rhodocyclus relatives, some other bacteria might also play a role as PAOs.

Kawai M, Matsutera E, Kanda H, Yamaguchi N, Tani K, Nasu M (2002) 16S ribosomal DNA-based analysis of bacterial diversity in purified water used in pharmaceutical manufacturing processes by PCR and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Appl Environ Microbiol 68 :699-704


The bacterial community in partially purified water, which is prepared by ion exchange from tap water and is used in pharmaceutical manufacturing processes, was analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). 16S ribosomal DNA fragments, including V6, -7, and -8 regions, were amplified with universal primers and analyzed by DGGE. The bacterial diversity in purified water determined by PCR-DGGE banding patterns was significantly lower than that of other aquatic environments. The bacterial populations with esterase activity sorted by flow cytometry and isolated on soybean casein digest (SCD) and R2A media were also analyzed by DGGE. The dominant bacterium in purified water possessed esterase activity but could not be detected on SCD or R2A media. DNA sequence analysis of the main bands on the DGGE gel revealed that culturable bacteria on these media were Bradyrhizobium sp., Xanthomonas sp., and Stenotrophomonas sp., while the dominant bacterium was not closely related to previously characterized bacteria. These data suggest the importance of culture-independent methods of quality control for pharmaceutical water.

Kouomou DW, Nerrienet E, Mfoupouendoun J, Tene G, Whittle H, Wild TF (2002) Measles virus strains circulating in Central and West Africa : Geographical distribution of two B3 genotypes. J Med Virol 68 :433-440


Africa remains one of the major reservoirs of measles infection. Molecular epidemiological studies have permitted different measles virus isolates to be grouped into clades and genotypes ; the major group, which has been identified as indigenous to Africa, is clade B. The viruses from epidemics in the Gambia (1993) and in the Cameroon (2001) were examined. In both studies, the homogeneity of the virus isolates within the epidemic as shown by sequence analysis revealed less than 0.2% variation of nucleotides between isolates. The measles viruses isolated in 1983 in Yaounde, Cameroon, were designated as the B1 genotype. However, in 2001 only viruses belonging to the B3 genotype were found in this city. The viruses in the Gambia (1993) were also of the B3 genotype. However, these viruses could be distinguished from each other at the antigenic level and by comparative sequence analysis. The B3 Cameroon (2001) viruses were related to the proposed B3.1 subgroup, whereas the Gambian (1993) isolates corresponded to the B3.2 subgroup. The geographical distribution for the period 1993-2001 of these two viruses shows that B3.1 is found from the Sudan to Nigeria and Ghana extending south to the Cameroon, whereas the B3.2 genotype is found in West Africa. In Nigeria and Ghana, the viruses co-circulate. The identification of these viruses will permit more meaningful epidemiological studies after the proposed increase in measles vaccination coverage.

Krzyzowska M, Schollenberger A, Skierski J, Niemialtowski M (2002) Apoptosis during ectromelia orthopoxvirus infection is DEVDase dependent : in vitro and in vivo studies. Microbes Infect 4 :599-611


Ectromelia virus (EV), which causes mousepox, is a member of the orthopoxviruses that are defined as being able to suppress apoptosis. Caspase-3 is one of the key effector proteases which regulates the apoptotic cascade and which is responsible for DNA fragmentation observed during apoptosis. It is well known that viruses, especially poxviruses, can inhibit caspase activity. Here, we report that EV can regulate apoptosis in vitro, suppressing the activity of caspases recognizing the DEVD (Asp-Glu-Val-Asp) motif (caspase-3 and -7) before successful virus replication is completed. Caspase-3 activity measurement showed that an increase in caspase-3 activity preceded the peak of DNA fragmentation demonstrated by TUNEL staining of L929 and RK-13 cells. By using specific caspase inhibitors (Ac-DEVD-CHO, Ac-IETD-CHO and zVAD-fmk), we showed that caspase-3 and -7 (DEVDases) are major effector caspases during EV-induced apoptosis in permissive L929 and RK-13 cell cultures. Apoptosis in vivo seems to play an important role during viraemia as well as during the clearance of EV from genetically susceptible BALB/c (H-2(d)) mice. However, as shown by measurement of caspase-3 activity, caspase-3 protein detection and M30-antibody staining, both DEVDases seem to play an important role during EV clearance from draining lymph nodes and conjunctivae at 15 days p.i. up to 20 days p.i., whereas in the liver and spleen DNA fragmentation coexisted with viral multiplication and secondary viraemia. Apoptosis was DEVDase dependent only in the liver, while spleen DNA fragmentation observed between 5 and 10 days p.i. was caspase independent. Therefore, we conclude that DEVDase- (caspase-3- and caspase-7-) dependent apoptosis is an important mechanism regulating the resolution of EV infection.

Kubota K (2002) A structurally variant form of the 2B4 antigen is expressed on the cell surface of mouse mast cells. Microbiol Immunol 46 :589-592


2B4 (CD244) is a 66-kDa CD2 family protein expressed on natural killer (NK) cells. Mouse NK cells express two isoforms of 2B4, termed 2B4L and 2B4S, whose molecular masses are 42 kDa and 36 kDa, respectively. In this study, we biochemically characterize the 2B4 antigen that was newly found on mouse bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMMC). Anti-2B4 mAb immunoprecipitated glycoproteins with a molecular mass of 60 kDa from BMMC. Removal of N-linked sugars from the antigen by N-glycosidase F treatment yielded two protein backbones of 35 kDa and 25 kDa, indicating that BMMC express the 2B4S isoform, but not 2B4L. Nucleotide sequence analyses confirmed that BMMC transcribe 2B4S mRNA. The preferential expression of the 2B4S isoform and the detection of an additional 25-kDa glycoprotein on BMMC indicate that differences in the structure of 2B4 antigen exist between BMMC and NK cells.

Leigh SA, Wise KS (2002) Identification and functional mapping of the Mycoplasma fermentans P29 adhesin. Infect Immun 70 :4925-4935


Initial adherence interactions between mycoplasmas and mammalian cells are important for host colonization and may contribute to subsequent pathogenic processes. Despite significant progress toward understanding the role of specialized, complex tip structures in the adherence of some mycoplasmas, particularly those that infect humans, less is known about adhesins through which other mycoplasmas of this host bind to diverse cell types, even though simpler surface components are likely to be involved. We show by flow cytometric analysis that a soluble recombinant fusion protein (FP29), representing the abundant P29 surface lipoprotein of Mycoplasma fermentans, binds human HeLa cells and inhibits M. fermentans binding to these cells, in both a quantitative and a saturable manner, whereas analogous fusion proteins representing other mycoplasma surface proteins did not. Constructs representing nested N- or C-terminal truncations of FP29 allowed initial mapping of this specific adherence function to a central region of the P29 sequence containing a 36-amino-acid disulfide loop. A derivative of FP29 containing a mutation converting one participating Cys to Ser, precluding intrachain disulfide bond formation, retained full activity. Together these results suggest that the direct interaction of M. fermentans with a ligand on the HeLa cell surface involves a limited segment of the P29 surface lipoprotein and requires neither the disulfide bond nor the contribution of adjacent portions of the protein. Earlier results indicating phase-variable display of monoclonal antibody surface epitopes on P29, now recognized to be outside this ligand binding region, raise the possibility that variation of mycoplasma surface architecture might alter the presentation of the binding region and the adherence phenotype. Preliminary results further indicated that FP29 could inhibit binding to HeLa cells by Mycoplasma hominis, a distinct human mycoplasma species displaying the phase-variable adhesin Vaa, but not that by Mycoplasma capricolum, an organism infecting caprine species. This result raises the additional, testable possibility that a common host cell ligand for two human mycoplasma species may be recognized through structurally dissimilar adhesins that undergo phase variation by two distinct mechanisms, governing protein expression (Vaa) or surface masking (P29).

Ling WL, Longley RL, Brassard DL, Armstrong L, Schaefer EJ (2002) Role of integrin alphaVbeta3 in the production of recombinant adenoviruses in HEK-293 cells. Gene Ther 9 :907-914


Adenoviral infection is initiated by attachment of adenoviral fiber proteins to the CAR protein and subsequent internalization aided by alphaV -containing integrins, eg alphaVbeta3 and alphaVbeta5. To further understand the process of infection and assembly of recombinant adenoviral (rAd) vectors, we examined rAd production in HEK-293 cells and one of its subclones, clone D, isolated from the parental cells for high viral production. By flow cytometry, surface expression of integrin alphaVbeta3 by clone D cells was two-fold higher than by HEK-293 cells. However, clone D cells did not demonstrate greater translational efficiency or number of viral genome DNA copies shortly after rAd infection. Treating cells with inhibitors of integrin alphaVbeta3 reduced rAd production and transfecting HEK-293 cells with integrin alphaVbeta3 cDNAs increased rAd production. Subjecting cells to a sudden reduction in serum (10% to 0.1% FCS) for 5 days, clone D cells maintained 80% viability compared with 40% for HEK-293 cells. Further indication of survival signaling involvement was provided by Western blot analysis demonstrating p38 and p44/42 MAPKs were constitutively phosphorylated in HEK-293 cells. However, for clone D cells, p38 MAPK was phosphorylated only after rAd infection. The role of survival signaling mediated by integrin alphaVbeta3 in rAd production will be discussed.

Lingua G, D’Agostino G, Massa N, Antosiano M, Berta G (2002) Mycorrhiza-induced differential response to a yellows disease in tomato. Mycorrhiza 12 :191-198


The protective effects induced by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi against a phytoplasma of the Stolbur group have been investigated in tomato by morphometry and flow cytometry. Symptoms induced by the phytoplasma were less severe when the plants also harboured AM fungi. Morphological parameters such as shoot and root fresh weight, shoot height, internode length, leaf number and adventitious root diameter were closer to those of healthy plants when arbuscular mycorrhiza were present. Reduced nuclear senescence was observed in AM plants infected with phytoplasmas ; the percentages of nuclear populations with different ploidy levels were intermediate between AM and phytoplasma-infected plants. The mechanisms underlying these interactions are discussed and a direct action of the AM fungus is hypothesized.

Machon O, van den Bout CJ, Backman M, Rosok O, Caubit X, Fromm SH, Geronimo B, Krauss S (2002) Forebrain-specific promoter/enhancer D6 derived from the mouse Dach1 gene controls expression in neural stem cells. Neuroscience 112 :951-966


Drosophila dachshund is involved in development of eye and limbs and in the development of mushroom bodies, a brain structure required for learning and memory in flies. Its mouse homologue mDach1 is expressed in various embryonic tissues, including limbs, the eye, the dorsal spinal cord and the forebrain. We have isolated a forebrain-specific 2.5-kb enhancer element termed D6 from the mouse mDach1 gene and created D6-LacZ and D6-green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter gene mouse lines. In embryonic stages, the D6 enhancer activity is first detected at embryonic day 10.5 in scattered cells of the outbuldging cortical vesicles. By embryonic day 12.5, D6 activity expands throughout the developing neocortex and the hippocampus. In the adult mouse brain, D6 enhancer is active in neurons of the cortical plate, in the CA1 layer of the hippocampus and in cells of the subventricular zone and the ventricular ependymal zone. Adult mice also show D6 activity in the olfactory bulb and in the mamillary nucleus. Cultured D6-positive cells, which were derived from embryonic and postnatal brains, show characteristics of neural stem cells. They form primary and secondary neurospheres that differentiate into neurons and astrocytes as examined by cell-specific markers.Our results show that D6 enhancer exerts highly tissue-specific activity in the neurons of the neocortex and hippocampus and in neural stem cells. Moreover, the fluorescence cell sorting of D6-GFP cells from embryonic and postnatal stages allows specific selection of primary neural progenitors and their analysis.

Maeda Y, Tohya Y, Matsuura Y, Mochizuki M, Sugimura T (2002) Early interaction of canine calicivirus with cells is the major determinant for its cell tropism in vitro. Vet Microbiol 87 :291-300


Canine calicivirus (CaCV) No. 48 strain isolated from a dog with fatal diarrhea is known to be able to replicate in MDCK and primary dog kidney cells. In this study, two new canine cell lines, MCM-B2 and MCA-B1, were determined to be permissive for CaCV No. 48, whereas other cell lines, including one canine cell line, A-72, were non-permissive. Flow cytometric analysis indicated that CaCV No. 48 binds efficiently to the permissive cells and to some degree also to Vero cells that are non-permissive for the virus, but does not bind to the other non-permissive cells tested. Both the permissive and non-permissive cells could be transfected with genomic RNA from CaCV No. 48, resulting in the appearance of CPE, production of capsid antigen and release of infectious progeny. These results suggested that the early interaction of the virus with cells, probably by binding to a virus receptor on the cell membrane, is the major determinant of CaCV No. 48 cell tropism in vitro.

Mateus L, Lopes da Costa L, Carvalho H, Serra P, Robalo Silva J (2002) Blood and intrauterine leukocyte profile and function in dairy cows that spontaneously recovered from postpartum endometritis. Reprod Domest Anim 37 :176-180


The profile and function of blood and uterine leukocytes were evaluated in 14 dairy cows that spontaneously recovered from postpartum endometritis (mild, n=6 and heavy, n=8 ; general health not affected). From a minimum of 2 weeks before parturition until 6 weeks postpartum, blood samples were obtained twice weekly for leukocyte counts and leukogram determination and once weekly for flow cytometry assessment of polimorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) phagocytic capacity and oxidative burst activity. Uterine fluid-stained smears, obtained twice weekly from parturition until fluid was present in the uterus, were used for determination of the percentage of PMN, of phagocytizing PMN (phago-PMN) and of the mean number of phagocyted bacteria per phagocytizing PMN (phagocytic index ; PI). Uterine swabs were obtained twice weekly from parturition until 35 days postpartum for bacteriological examination. The time of endometritis diagnosis was similar in cows with mild or heavy endometritis but the latter cows had a significantly longer persistence of the infection and of the isolation of Gram-negative anaerobes from the uterus. However, the effect of group (mild versus heavy) was not significant for all the blood and uterine parameters analysed. The effect of sampling day (within group effect) was significant (p<0.01 to p<0.00001) for all parameters, except for the blood monocyte count and the blood PMN phagocytic capacity, in which only a tendency for significance was observed (p<0.1). The effect of the interaction group x sampling day was significant only for the blood monocyte count. The phago-PMN and the PI were significantly correlated (r=0.70, p<0.001). A significant correlation was also observed between the uterine fluid phago-PMN and the blood PMN oxidative burst activity (r=-0.41, p<0.05). At the spontaneous recovery, the blood PMN oxidative burst activity was significantly higher (p<0.05) and the percentage of intrauterine phago-PMN and the PI were significantly lower (p<0.001 and p<0.01, respectively) than at diagnosis of endometritis. These results suggest that a decrease in blood PMN oxidative burst activity until the first week postpartum could be associated with an increased susceptibility to early postpartum endometritis. The later increase in this parameter as well as the increase in the intrauterine fluid phago-PMN and PI, might favour the spontaneous resolution of endometritis.

McLaughlin RW, Vali H, Lau PC, Palfree RG, De Ciccio A, Sirois M, Ahmad D, Villemur R, Desrosiers M, Chan EC (2002) Are there naturally occurring pleomorphic bacteria in the blood of healthy humans ? J Clin Microbiol 40 :4771-4775


Dark-field microscopy of blood from healthy individuals revealed the existence of pleomorphic microorganisms. These bacteria exhibited limited growth and susceptibility to antibiotics and could be detected by fluorescent in situ hybridization and flow cytometry. They were further characterized by analysis of their 16S rRNA and gyrB genes.

Mendonca RZ, Arrozio SJ, Antoniazzi MM, Ferreira JM, Jr., Pereira CA (2002) Metabolic active-high density VERO cell cultures on microcarriers following apoptosis prevention by galactose/glutamine feeding. J Biotechnol 97 :13-22


The control of cell death occurring in high density cultures performed in bioreactors is an important factor in production processes. In this work, medium nutrient removal or feeding was used to determine at which extension apoptosis could be, respectively, involved or prevented in VERO cell cultures on microcarriers. Glutamine and galactose present in the VERO cell culture medium was consumed after, respectively, 6 and 12 days of culture. Kinetics studies showed that fresh medium replacement and, to some extent, galactose or glutamine depleted-fresh medium replacement provided a nutritional environment, allowing the VERO cell cultures to attain high densities. Galactose was shown to be a more critical nutrient when cultures reached a high density. In agreement with that, VERO cell cultures supplemented with galactose and/or glutamine were shown to confirm previous findings and, again at high densities, galactose was shown to be a critical nutrient for VERO cell growth. These observations also indicated that in VERO cell cultures, for feeding purposes, the glutamine could be replaced by galactose. The inverse was not true and led, at high densities, to a decrease of cell viability. In the absence of glutamine and galactose, apoptosis was observed in VERO cell cultures by cytofluorometry, Acridine orange staining or light and electron microscopy, reaching high levels when compared to cultures performed with complete medium. VERO cells apoptosis process could be prevented by the galactose and/or glutamine feeding and, at high densities, galactose was more efficient in protecting the cultures. These cultures, prevented from apoptosis, were shown to synthesize high levels of measles virus following infection. Our data show that apoptosis prevention by glutamine/galactose feeding, led to high productive and metabolic active VERO cell cultures, as indicated by the high cell density obtained and the virus multiplication leading to higher virus titers.

Mizushima T, Sugiyama T, Kobayashi T, Komatsu Y, Ishizuka J, Kato M, Asaka M (2002) Decreased adherence of cagG-deleted Helicobacter pylori to gastric epithelial cells in Japanese clinical isolates. Helicobacter 7 :22-29


BACKGROUND : The cag pathogenicity island (cag PAI) is a major virulence factor. The ability of Helicobacter pylori to adhere to gastric epithelial cells is an important initial step for virulence. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between genetic variations of cag PAI in Japanese clinical isolates and the ability of H. pylori to adhere to gastric epithelial cells. MATERIALS AND METHODS : The polymerase chain reaction and Southern blot analysis were used to verify the presence or absence of cagA, cagE, cagG, cagI and cagM in the cag PAI in 236 Japanese clinical isolates. The ability of H. pylori to adhere to KATOIII cells was examined by flow cytometry. RESULTS : Seven (3.0%) cag PAI partial-deleted strains were found in 236 clinical isolates, and these strains showed three patterns in the deleted region within the cag PAI. All of the cagG-deleted strains showed decreased adherence to KATOIII cells, in comparison with cagG-positive strains. These strains had abolished IL-8 induction despite the presence of cagE, which is essential for IL-8 induction. CONCLUSIONS : Our results suggest that cagG or surrounding genes in the cag PAI has a function related to adhesion to epithelial cells.

Mosser AG, Brockman-Schneider R, Amineva S, Burchell L, Sedgwick JB, Busse WW, Gern JE (2002) Similar frequency of rhinovirus-infectible cells in upper and lower airway epithelium. J Infect Dis 185 :734-743


Rhinovirus (RV) infections can alter lower airway physiology and inflammation, yet the characteristics of RV replication in lower airway cells are incompletely understood. An RV serotype 16 (RV16)-specific monoclonal antibody was identified. Immunohistochemistry and an infectious center assay were used to quantitate the infectivity of RV16 in primary bronchial and adenoidal epithelial cells. The proportion of infectible epithelial cells increased with the inoculum but did not exceed 10%. Analysis of bronchial tissue samples infected ex vivo demonstrated a small subset of RV-infected cells in the epithelial layer. These data confirm previous reports that RV infects only a small subset of epithelial cells in upper airway tissues and indicate that lower airway epithelial cells have a similar susceptibility to RV infection. In confirming that RV can infect cells in the lower airway, these results suggest that lower airway dysfunction occurs through this mechanism in susceptible persons.

Navas MC, Fuchs A, Schvoerer E, Bohbot A, Aubertin AM, Stoll-Keller F (2002) Dendritic cell susceptibility to hepatitis C virus genotype 1 infection. J Med Virol 67 :152-161


In vitro infection of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells was carried out to study their susceptibility to hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Immature dendritic cells and mature dendritic cells were incubated overnight at 37 degrees C with HCV-positive (genotype 1) serum samples ; the presence of the viral genome associated with the production of its replicative intermediate was used as evidence of infection. In immature dendritic cells, HCV RNA was detectable from days 1-10 post-infection (p.i.), and de novo synthesis of negative-strand HCV RNA could be demonstrated by a strand-specific rTth reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction at day 2. In mature dendritic cells, the positive-strand form was detectable from days 1-5 p.i., while the negative-strand HCV RNA appeared at days 1 and 2 p.i. Quasispecies present in the inoculum and 6 days p.i. were analyzed by sequencing hypervariable region 1 of the E2 protein. Only two of seven HVR variants present in the inoculum were found in HCV-infected immature dendritic cells. Another two HVR variants not found in the inoculum were recovered from infected immature dendritic cells, suggesting serum minor variants selection or virus evolution during in vitro replication. Analysis by single-strand conformation polymorphism assay of 5’ untranslated region of HCV sequences showed that the patterns obtained from the inoculum and infected immature dendritic cells and mature dendritic cells differed slightly. These findings indicate that both immature dendritic cells and mature dendritic cells are susceptible to HCV genotype 1 infection, supporting at least HCV RNA replication. This model should be a valuable tool for the study of modulation of dendritic cell functions in HCV infection.

Neal JW, Clipstone NA (2002) Calcineurin mediates the calcium-dependent inhibition of adipocyte differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells. J Biol Chem 277 :49776-49781


Recent studies have revealed that the calcium-dependent serine/threonine phosphatase calcineurin mediates the effects of intracellular calcium in many different cell types. In this study we investigated the role of calcineurin in the regulation of adipocyte differentiation. We found that the specific calcineurin inhibitors cyclosporin A and FK506 overcame the antiadipogenic effect of calcium ionophore on the differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. This finding suggests that calcineurin is responsible for mediating the previously documented Ca(2+)-dependent inhibition of adipogenesis. We further demonstrate that the expression of a constitutively active calcineurin mutant potently inhibits the ability of 3T3-L1 cells to undergo adipocyte differentiation by preventing expression of the proadipogenic transcription factors peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha (C/EBPalpha). This calcineurin-mediated block in adipocyte differentiation is rescued by ectopic expression of PPARgamma1. Finally, we demonstrate that inhibition of endogenous calcineurin activity with either FK506 or a specific calcineurin inhibitory peptide enhances differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells in response to suboptimal adipogenic stimuli, suggesting that endogenous calcineurin activity normally sets a signaling threshold that antagonizes efficient adipocyte differentiation. Collectively, these data indicate that calcineurin acts as a Ca(2+)-dependent molecular switch that negatively regulates commitment to adipocyte differentiation by preventing the expression of critical proadipogenic transcription factors.

Nestor I (2002) Virus isolation data from water of some European rivers : an overview. Cent Eur J Public Health 10 :42-59


The present overview is the result of our scrutiny of data concerning the presence of viruses in the water of diverse European rivers. These data were assembled from the published literature—articles, doctoral theses and reports from investigations conducted by environmental virologists beginning during the final years of the sixth decenium of the twentieth century, first in France, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Ukraine, U.S.A. then in other European and countries worldwide. The overview covers the methodology referring both to water sampling (by gauze pads or by grab procedures), and to virus detection methods, including virus concentration from large volumes of water and the inoculation of virus concentrates on cell cultures and/or into suckling mice. Other more recently elaborated methods of virus detection and identification, consisting of immunological tests, as the enzyme immunoassay (EIA), immunofluorescence (IF), or the genetic techniques, as the molecular hybridization and flow cytometry (FC), were also applied. The obtained results refer to the virus positivity with the specification of virus types and various virus contamination levels of these waters. Finally, the ways by which the viral contamination of the searched river waters might be demonstrated and, ways by which the human body can be contaminated by the virus polluted river waters are discussed, and some conclusions and recommendations are formulated.

Neth O, Jack DL, Johnson M, Klein NJ, Turner MW (2002) Enhancement of complement activation and opsonophagocytosis by complexes of mannose-binding lectin with mannose-binding lectin-associated serine protease after binding to Staphylococcus aureus. J Immunol 169 :4430-4436


Human mannose-binding lectin (MBL) is a serum protein of the innate immune system that circulates as a complex with a group of so-called MBL-associated serine proteases (MASP-1, MASP-2, and MASP-3). Complexes of MBL-MASP2 are able to activate the complement system in an Ab and C1-independent fashion after binding of the lectin to appropriate microbial sugar arrays. We have evaluated the additive effect of the lectin pathway relative to other complement activation pathways and the subsequent effect on neutrophil phagocytosis. Complement activation in the sera of MBL-deficient individuals was studied with and without the addition of exogenous MBL-MASP. Flow cytometry was used to measure the deposition of C4, factor B, C3b, and iC3b on Staphylococcus aureus. Deposition of the first cleavage product of the lectin pathway, C4b, was increased using the sera of three different MBL-deficient individuals when exogenous MBL-MASP was added. Factor B was deposited in association with C4, but there was no evidence of independent alternative pathway activation. Similar enhancement of C3b deposition was also observed, with evidence of elevated amounts of C3b processed to iC3b. The increase in opsonic C3 fragments mediated by MBL was associated with a significant increase in the uptake of organisms by neutrophils. We also observed significant increases in phagocytosis with MBL-MASPs that were independent of complement activation. We conclude that MBL-MASP makes a major contribution to complement-mediated host defense mechanisms.

Neudeck A, Stachelhaus S, Nischik N, Striepen B, Reichmann G, Fischer HG (2002) Expression variance, biochemical and immunological properties of Toxoplasma gondii dense granule protein GRA7. Microbes Infect 4 :581-590


During intracellular stay, Toxoplasma gondii secretes dense granule proteins (GRA) which remodel the parasitophorous vacuole and are considered functional in parasite-host interrelation. Comparative analysis of parasites from mouse-virulent strain BK and an in vitro attenuated variant revealed that the level of GRA7 expression correlates with T. gondii virulence : proteome analysis and quantitation by immunoblot demonstrated a massive decrease in GRA7 steady-state synthesis parallel to the loss of virulence. Properties of GRA7 that are pertinent to its membrane targeting and to GRA7-directed immune resistance were studied in detail. GRA7 is exclusively membrane-associated in both parasites and infected host cells as demonstrated by subcellular fractionations. Triton X-114 partitioning of isolated parasites substantiated that GRA7 is an integral membrane protein, the hydrophobic stretch from amino acid 181 to 202 providing a possible membrane anchor. A fraction enriched for membranous material from infected host cells contained additional forms of GRA7 with reduced mobility in gel electrophoresis, indicating that the protein is modified after exocytosis from the parasite. By flow cytometric analysis, GRA7 was detected on the surface of intact host cells. An intracellular origin of surface-associated GRA7 seems likely since GRA7 released from extracellular parasites failed to label the host cell surface. Consistent with a role at a parasite-host interface, GRA7 proved to be a target antigen of the intracerebral immune response as evidenced by the presence of GRA7-specific antibodies in mouse cerebrospinal fluid during chronic infection.

Nolan LK, Giddings CW, Horne SM, Doetkott C, Gibbs PS, Wooley RE, Foley SL (2002) Complement resistance, as determined by viable count and flow cytometric methods, and its association with the presence of iss and the virulence of avian Escherichia coli. Avian Dis 46 :386-392


Previous work in our labs has shown that avian Escherichia coli virulence is correlated with resistance to complement. Also, our studies have revealed that the presence of the increased serum survival gene (iss), known to contribute to the complement resistance and virulence of mammalian E. coli, may predict the virulent nature of an avian E. coli isolate. This relationship warrants further research, but further clarification of the relationship among virulence, complement resistance, and iss sequences requires use of complement susceptibility assays. Such assays, unfortunately, are labor-intensive, expensive, and difficult to perform. In the present study, the results of two complement susceptibility assays for 20 E. coli isolates, 10 incriminated in avian colibacillosis and 10 from the intestinal tracts of apparently healthy birds, were compared in an attempt to determine if flow cytometric analysis was a reasonable alternative to a viable count assay. In addition, the virulence of these isolates for chick embryos was determined, and each isolate was examined for the presence of iss using amplification techniques. The flow cytometric method was found to be repeatable for most isolates, and its results showed moderate agreement with those obtained through viable counts. All intestinal isolates of healthy birds proved avirulent using the embryo lethality assay ; however, not all isolates from sick birds were demonstrated to be virulent. Possible explanations of these results include that the methods originally used to isolate these organisms failed to detect the illness-inciting strains or that the virulence of these strains had declined following initial isolation. Additionally, we must consider the possibility that the embryo lethality assay of virulence used here might not be sensitive enough to detect differences between these two groups of isolates. Also, it should be noted that virulence assays, such as the one used here, fail to account for predisposing host or environmental conditions, enabling a less virulent isolate to cause disease under natural conditions. Interestingly, the complement resistance of a strain was significantly associated with its lethality in embryos, and iss-containing isolates were significantly more likely than those lacking iss to be classified as complement-resistant and virulent. Such results, at least for this group of avian E. coli, suggest that there is a compelling but imperfect relationship among complement resistance, virulence, and the presence of iss. These results also suggest that the flow cytometric assay may be a reasonable alternative to the viable count method of determining complement resistance.

O’Brien LM, Walsh EJ, Massey RC, Peacock SJ, Foster TJ (2002) Staphylococcus aureus clumping factor B (ClfB) promotes adherence to human type I cytokeratin 10 : implications for nasal colonization. Cell Microbiol 4 :759-770


Staphylococcus aureus is an important cause of sepsis in both community and hospital settings, a major risk factor for which is nasal carriage of the bacterium. Eradication of carriage by topical antibiotics reduces sepsis rates in high-risk individuals, an important strategy for the reduction of nosocomial infection in targeted patient populations. Understanding the mechanisms by which S. aureus adheres to nasal epithelial cells in vivo may lead to alternative methods of decolonization that do not rely on sustained antimicrobial susceptibility. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that the S. aureus surface-expressed protein, clumping factor B (ClfB), promotes adherence to immobilized epidermal cytokeratins in vitro. By expressing a range of S. aureus adhesins on the surface of the heterologous host Lactococcus lactis, we demonstrated that adherence to epidermal cytokeratins was conferred by ClfB. Adherence of wild-type S. aureus was inhibited by recombinant ClfB protein or anti-ClfB antibodies, and S. aureus mutants defective in ClfB adhered poorly to epidermal cytokeratins. Expression of ClfB promoted adherence of L. lactis to human desquamated nasal epithelial cells, and a mutant of S. aureus defective in ClfB had reduced adherence compared with wild type. ClfB also promoted adherence of L. lactis cells to a human keratinocyte cell line. Cytokeratin 10 molecules were shown by flow cytometry to be exposed on the surface of both desquamated nasal epithelial cells and keratinocytes. Cytokeratin 10 was also detected on the surface of desquamated human nasal cells using immunofluorescence, and recombinant ClfB protein was shown to bind to cytokeratin K10 extracted from these cells. We also showed that ClfB is transcribed by S. aureus in the human nares. We propose that ClfB is a major determinant in S. aureus nasal colonization.

Pajusola K, Gruchala M, Joch H, Luscher TF, Yla-Herttuala S, Bueler H (2002) Cell-type-specific characteristics modulate the transduction efficiency of adeno-associated virus type 2 and restrain infection of endothelial cells. J Virol 76 :11530-11540


Adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) are promising vectors for various gene therapy applications due to their long-lasting transgene expression and wide spectrum of target cells. Recently, however, it has become apparent that there are considerable differences in the efficiencies of transduction of different cell types by AAVs. Here, we analyzed the efficiencies of transduction and the transport mechanisms of AAV type 2 (AAV-2) in different cell types, emphasizing endothelial cells. Expression analyses in both cultured cells and the rabbit carotid artery assay showed a remarkably low level of endothelial cell transduction in comparison to the highly permissive cell types. The study of the endosomal pathways of AAV-2 with fluorescently labeled virus showed clear targeting of the Golgi area in permissive cell lines, but this phenomenon was absent in the endothelial cell line EAhy-926. On the other hand, the response to the block of endosomal acidification by bafilomycin A1 also showed differences among the permissive cell types. We also analyzed the effect of proteasome inhibitors on endothelial cells, but their impact on the primary cells and in vivo was not significant. On the contrary, analysis of the expression pattern of heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), the primary receptors of AAV-2, revealed massive deposits of HSPG in the extracellular matrix of endothelial cells. The matrix-associated receptors may therefore compete for virus binding and reduce transduction in endothelial cells. Accordingly, in endothelial cells detached from their matrix, AAV-2 transduction was significantly increased. Altogether, these results point to a more complex cell-type-specific mode of transduction of AAV-2 than previously appreciated.

Patkar A, Vijayasankaran N, Urry DW, Srienc F (2002) Flow cytometry as a useful tool for process development : rapid evaluation of expression systems. J Biotechnol 93 :217-229


Flow cytometry is an established tool in fundamental studies of single-cell microbial physiology. Here we show that it can also provide valuable information for process development. Using recombinant Escherichia coli strains, which express the protein-based polymer (GVGIP)(260)GVGVP, the utility of flow cytometry in monitoring and optimization of fermentations is demonstrated. Single cell right angle light scatter was found to be significantly affected by intracellular product formation possibly due to the formation of inclusion bodies. Translational fusions with green fluorescent protein (GFP) enabled monitoring of product accumulation, as well as plasmid free cell fraction (PFCF). Such fusions also allowed rapid evaluation of induction strategies and three different expression systems based on the T7 promoter, T7-lac promoter and the P(BAD) promoter. The expression system based on the P(BAD) promoter was found to be superior to the T7-based system.

Porada CD, Tran ND, Almeida-Porada G, Glimp HA, Pixley JS, Zhao Y, Anderson WF, Zanjani ED (2002) Transduction of long-term-engrafting human hematopoietic stem cells by retroviral vectors. Hum Gene Ther 13 :867-879


Gene therapy using retroviral vectors to transfer functional exogenous genes into hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) promises to provide a permanent cure for a wide array of both hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic disorders by virtue of the fact that retroviral vectors permanently integrate into the host cell genome and HSCs are able to self-renew and give rise to differentiated progeny throughout the life span of the patient. However, for transduction and genomic integration to occur, the target cells must undergo cell division and express the appropriate retroviral receptor, requirements that have thus far hindered attempts at inserting exogenous genes into human HSCs in vitro. In the present studies, we used the fetal sheep xenograft model of human hematopoiesis to evaluate whether human long-term engrafting HSCs could be transduced in vivo, within a fetal microenvironment. We transplanted adult human bone marrow-derived CD34(+)Lin(-) cells into preimmune fetal sheep recipients and subsequently (19 days later) administered clinical-grade murine retroviral vector supernatants to these fetal hematopoietic chimeras. Our results demonstrate that this approach successfully transduced adult human HSCs within all seven sheep that survived the procedure, and that these transduced HSCs had the ability to serially engraft primary, secondary, and tertiary fetal sheep recipients. Transgene expression persisted throughout the serial transplantation. The successful in vivo transduction of long-term engrafting human HSCs with the existing generation of murine retroviral vectors has significant implications for developing new approaches to pre- and postnatal gene therapy.

Qiao H, Duffy LC, Griffiths E, Dryja D, Leavens A, Rossman J, Rich G, Riepenhoff-Talty M, Locniskar M (2002) Immune responses in rhesus rotavirus-challenged BALB/c mice treated with bifidobacteria and prebiotic supplements. Pediatr Res 51 :750-755


Bifidobacterium species (B. bifidum and B. infantis), with or without prebiotic compounds (arabino-galactan, short-chain fructo-oligosaccharide, iso-malto-dextrins), were orally fed to Balb/c pups (n = 192) to evaluate their potential synergistic effects on modulating the course of rhesus rotavirus (RRV) infection, as well as their ability to mediate the associated mucosal and humoral immune responses. Rotavirus-specific IgA and IgG in serum, rotavirus antigen, and specific IgA in feces were measured by ELISA. Mucosal total IgA and IgG levels were determined in Peyer’s patches by flow cytometry. Significantly delayed onset (p = 0.001) and early resolution (p < 0.001) of diarrhea were observed in bifidobacteria-treated, RRV-infected mice compared with RRV-infected control mice. Supplementation with prebiotic compounds did not shorten the clinical diarrhea course more than that observed with bifidobacteria treatment alone. Rotavirus-specific IgA in feces was 16-fold elevated on d 5 postinfection in bifidobacteria-treated, RRV-infected mice compared with the RRV-infected alone group. In addition, the level of rotavirus-specific IgA in serum was four-fold higher in bifidobacteria-treated, RRV-infected litters versus mice challenged with RRV alone on 28 and 42 d postinfection. No enhancement of the immune response was found in RRV-infected mice that were treated with both bifidobacteria and prebiotic compounds over those treated with bifidobacteria only. The findings suggest that bifidobacteria may act as an adjuvant by modulating early mucosal and strong humoral rotavirus-specific immune responses, and mitigate severity of rotavirus-induced diarrhea.

Quintero-Betancourt W, Peele ER, Rose JB (2002) Cryptosporidium parvum and Cyclospora cayetanensis : a review of laboratory methods for detection of these waterborne parasites. J Microbiol Methods 49 :209-224


Cryptosporidium and Cyclospora are obligate, intracellular, coccidian protozoan parasites that infest the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals causing severe diarrhea illness. In this paper, we present an overview of the conventional and more novel techniques that are currently available to detect Cryptosporidium and Cyclospora in water. Conventional techniques and new immunological and genetic/molecular methods make it possible to assess the occurrence, prevalence, virulence (to a lesser extent), viability, levels, and sources of waterborne protozoa. Concentration, purification, and detection are the three key steps in all methods that have been approved for routine monitoring of waterborne oocysts. These steps have been optimized to such an extent that low levels of naturally occurring Cryptosporidium oocysts can be efficiently recovered from water. The filtration systems developed in the US and Europe trap oocysts more effectively and are part of the standard methodologies for environmental monitoring of Cryptosporidium oocysts in source and treated water. Purification techniques such as immunomagnetic separation and flow cytometry with fluorescent activated cell sorting impart high capture efficiency and selective separation of oocysts from sample debris. Monoclonal antibodies with higher avidity and specificity to oocysts in water concentrates have significantly improved the detection and enumeration steps.To date, PCR-based detection methods allow us to differentiate the human pathogenic Cryptosporidium parasites from those that do not infect humans, and to track the source of oocyst contamination in the environment. Cell culture techniques are now used to examine oocyst viability. While fewer studies have focused on Cyclospora cayetanensis, the parasite has been successfully detected in drinking water and wastewater using current methods to recover Cryptosporidium oocysts. More research is needed for monitoring of Cyclospora in the environment. Meanwhile, molecular methods (e.g. molecular markers such as intervening transcribed spacer regions), which can identify different genotypes of C. cayetanensis, show good promise for detection of this emerging coccidian parasite in water.

Rechinger KB, Siegumfeldt H (2002) Rapid assessment of cell viability of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus by measurement of intracellular pH in individual cells using fluorescence ratio imaging microscopy. Int J Food Microbiol 75 :53-60


The aim of this study was to investigate if the measurement of intracellular pH (pHi) of individual cells by fluorescence ratio imaging microscopy (FRIM) could be utilized as a rapid method for determining the bacterial viability, using Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus as a model organism. Five different standardized cultures with equal cell densities but varying viability were prepared on a trial-to-trial basis by combining aliquots of frozen and lyophilized cells with a 50-fold difference in viability, determined by the ability to form colonies on solid growth media. The acidification of milk and Acidification Power Test were used to determine the activity of these cultures. As expected, the cultures containing a higher proportion of viable cells acidified milk faster and performed better in the Acidification Power Test. All cells were fluorescent after staining with carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester but frozen cells reached higher fluorescence intensities than lyophilized cells. The number of strongly fluorescent cells determined by flow cytometry exceeded the number of viable cells determined by CFU. Analysis of pHi of individual cells by FRIM at an extracellular pH of 6.0 revealed two populations of cells with an average pHi of 6.9 +/- 0.1 and 6.1 +/- 0.1. As the number of cells maintaining a pH-gradient of 0.9 +/- 0.1 correlated well with CFU, we suggest that FRIM can be used as a rapid method for the determination of viability of L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus. Measurement of pHi on a single cell basis is expected to provide accurate prediction of the fermentation performance in a wider range of industrial fermentation.

Sashiyama H, Shino Y, Sakao S, Shimada H, Kobayashi S, Ochiai T, Shirasawa H (2002) Alteration of integrin expression relates to malignant progression of human papillomavirus-immortalized esophageal keratinocytes. Cancer Lett 177 :21-28


To investigate cellular changes related to the malignant progression of keratinocytes, we studied the serum-resistant clones from CHEK-1, a human papillomavirus type 16 E6/E7-immortalized esophageal cell line cultured in a serum-free medium. Established clones exhibited morphologic variety. Slow growing clones presented in cuboidal shapes with tight cellular adhesion and highly expressed alpha2 and alpha6beta4 integrins. Moderately proliferating clones showed loose intercellular adhesion and reduced expression of alpha2 integrin. Spindle-shaped, rapidly proliferating clones with prominent actin stress fibers demonstrated reduced alpha6 and alpha4 integrin expression in addition to alpha2 integrin and showed anchorage-independent growth. Reduced expression of alpha2 integrin was observed between 50 and 100 population doubling lengths (PDLs) during the immortalization of CHEK-1. These results suggest that the reductions of alpha2 and alpha6beta4 integrins are related to changes seen during immortalization and malignant progression.

Sethman CR, Doyle RJ, Cowan MM (2002) Flow cytometric evaluation of adhesion of Streptococcus pyogenes to epithelial cells. J Microbiol Methods 51 :35-42


The precise roles of various surface molecules in the attachment of Streptococcus pyogenes to host epithelia are currently unclear. A flow cytometry assay that facilitates the analysis of the kinetics of S. pyogenes adhesion to epithelial cells was developed. Dose- and time-dependent adhesion isotherms with both buccal epithelial cells (BECs) and Hep-2 cells as substrata were obtained. Although binding equilibrium is reached within 2 h on both cell types, saturation of binding sites on BECs is not achieved within a wide range of experimental conditions. This indicates a high degree of non-specific attachment to that cell type. Since no rinsing step is necessary when using flow cytometry to analyze adhesion, low-affinity associations were observable. This was confirmed by determining bacterial desorption rates early and late in the adsorption process. Binding irregularities were also easily detected since the cytometer records and displays data for up to 10,000 epithelial cells per time point. It is proposed to use this methodology to assign roles to particular surface molecules/characteristics during distinct phases of adhesion.

Shen CF, Meghrous J, Kamen A (2002) Quantitation of baculovirus particles by flow cytometry. J Virol Methods 105 :321-330


A method using flow cytometry (FCM) analysis was developed to quantitate baculovirus total particles produced in insect cell cultures. The method is a direct count of particles and involves staining of the baculovirus DNA with SYBR Green I, a highly fluorescent nucleic acid specific dye. Sample preparation of cell-free supernatant containing budded viral particles involves fixation with paraformaldehyde, freeze-thaw treatment, viral membrane permeabilization with Triton X-100, and sample heating to improve staining efficiency and enhance baculovirus particle green fluorescence intensities. In this study, the effects of the different treatment steps and medium composition on viral particle counts were examined in order to identify optimal preparation conditions. FCM analysis linearity was established over a viral concentration range of two logs with a lower detection limit at 10(5) viral particles per ml. Robustness and reproducibility of the method were assessed using samples from large-scale bioreactor cultures. The events (or virus particle counts) obtained by FCM analysis were usually higher than the titres obtained by end-point dilution assay (EPDA). Results from 16 different viral stocks showed an average ratio of 3.7 total particles (FCM) to infectious particles (EPDA). Essentially, the FCM analysis reported below shortens baculovirus quantitation time to 2 h and provides a good estimation of virus titers. It is believed that these findings will contribute to acceleration of process development in the area of baculovirus expression technology in general and specifically in process where stoichiometric multi-viral infections of cells are critical to the expression of complex products.

Sherr EB, Sherr BF (2002) Significance of predation by protists in aquatic microbial food webs. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 81 :293-308


Predation in aquatic microbial food webs is dominated by phagotrophic protists, yet these microorganisms are still understudied compared to bacteria and phytoplankton. In pelagic ecosystems, predaceous protists are ubiquitous, range in size from 2 gm flagellates to > 100 microm ciliates and dinoflagellates, and exhibit a wide array of feeding strategies. Their trophic states run the gamut from strictly phagotrophic, to mixotrophic : partly autotrophic and partly phagotrophic, to primarily autotrophic but capable of phagotrophy. Protists are a major source of mortality for both heterotrophic and autotrophic bacteria. They compete with herbivorous meso- and macro-zooplankton for all size classes of phytoplankton. Protist grazing may affect the rate of organic sinking flux from the euphotic zone. Protist excretions are an important source of remineralized nutrients, and of colloidal and dissolved trace metals such as iron, in aquatic systems. Work on predation by protists is being facilitated by methodological advances, e.g., molecular genetic analysis of protistan diversity and application of flow cytometry to study population growth and feeding rates. Examples of new research areas are studies of impact of protistan predation on the community structure of prey assemblages and of chemical communication between predator and prey in microbial food webs.

Shimizu T, Tani T, Endo Y, Hanasawa K, Tsuchiya M, Kodama M (2002) Elevation of plasma peptidoglycan and peripheral blood neutrophil activation during hemorrhagic shock : plasma peptidoglycan reflects bacterial translocation and may affect neutrophil activation. Crit Care Med 30 :77-82


OBJECTIVE : To investigate the relations among bacterial transloation, plasma peptidoglycan elevation, and peripheral blood neutrophil activation during hemorrhagic shock. DESIGN : Prospective, randomized, unblinded animal study. SETTING : Surgical research laboratories of Shiga University of Medical Science. SUBJECTS : Male, specific pathogen-free Sprague-Dawley rats. INTERVENTIONS : The rats were randomly divided into three groups : a conventional group with normal intestinal flora (NF), an antibiotic (streptomycin and penicillin G) decontaminated group (AD), and a sham shock group with normal intestinal flora. The NF and AD groups were subjected to hemorrhagic shock (mean arterial pressure 30 mm Hg, for 30 to 90 mins). Rats were killed at 30, 60, and 90 mins after shock induction. Systemic blood and mesenteric lymph nodes (MLNs) were cultured for the determination of bacterial translocation (BT). Systemic plasma peptidoglycan and endotoxin concentrations were measured. To evaluate peripheral blood neutrophil activation, phagocytosis and hydrogen peroxide generation were assayed by flow cytometry. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS : In the NF group, BT to MLNs was significantly increased from 30 mins after shock induction. Blood culture and plasma endotoxin were positive at 90 mins but there were no significant differences. Assayed plasma peptidoglycan was significantly increased at 90 mins. Phagocytosis and hydrogen peroxide generation were significantly increased. Assayed plasma peptidoglycan concentrations showed significant positive correlations with the magnitude of BT to MLNs (r2 = .54) and hydrogen peroxide generation (r2 = .22) in individual animals. Furthermore, BT and these parameters were significantly suppressed in the AD group. CONCLUSIONS : First, we concluded that assayed plasma peptidoglycan reflects BT induced by hemorrhage because the increase in assayed plasma peptidoglycan was suppressed, as was BT, by antibiotic decontamination. Second, peripheral blood neutrophil activation was also suppressed when BT was prevented. We concluded BT to be involved in neutrophil activation. Our findings suggest hydrogen peroxide generation by neutrophils to be involved in plasma peptidoglycan elevation.

Sifer C, Benifla JL, Branger M, Devaux A, Brun-Vezinet F, Madelenat P, Feldmann G (2002) Effects of hepatitis C virus on the apoptosis percentage of granulosa cells in vivo in women undergoing IVF : preliminary results. Hum Reprod 17 :1773-1776


BACKGROUND : The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the apoptosis percentage of human luteinized granulosa cells (GC) and the presence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in follicular fluid (FF). METHODS : GC were isolated from FF of 12 women undergoing 12 IVF cycles : six were HCV+ with active viral replication and six HCV- serving as controls. No male partner was HCV+. HCV detection and quantification were assessed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction in serum, FF and embryo-incubation medium. GC were analysed by flow cytometry after propidium iodide staining to measure the percentages of apoptotic GC. Routine IVF parameters were tabulated. RESULTS : Mean +/- standard deviation (SD) serum and FF HCV viral loads were 3.58 +/- 4.25 x 10(6) and 0.14 +/- 0.10 x 10(6) IU/ml respectively. Mean percentages of apoptotic GC from HCV+ and HCV- women were 3.08 +/- 1.14 and 3.14 +/- 1.40% respectively. No statistically significant difference was found between these two groups concerning GC apoptosis and when we compared all IVF parameters. No HCV RNA was detected in embryo incubation media after 2 days of culture. CONCLUSIONS : Comparing GC apoptosis percentages and usual IVF parameters in the HCV+ group versus the HCV- group, our preliminary study shows that active chronic HCV infection does not affect follicle development and IVF outcome in HCV+ women undergoing IVF. Furthermore, the risk of newborns becoming HCV-infected might not be increased by assisted reproductive technologies when performed in couples in which women are HCV+ and men HCV-.

Smelt JP, Otten GD, Bos AP (2002) Modelling the effect of sublethal injury on the distribution of the lag times of individual cells of Lactobacillus plantarum. Int J Food Microbiol 73 :207-212


The effect of heat stress on subsequent duration of the lag time of individual cells of Lactobacillus plantarum was analysed by flow cytometry. The results show clearly that both the mean and the standard deviation of the distribution of the lag time increased after sublethal heat treatment. The distributions of the lag times or the log lag times of untreated and treated cells, respectively, could be described as extreme value distributions. From these distributions, the distribution of the minimum lag times could be calculated and thus the effect of inoculum size on the apparent lag could be deduced. The results show clearly that the apparent lag time is dependent on the size of the inoculum, especially when the inoculum is sublethally injured.

Soriano E, Borth N, Katinger H, Mattanovich D (2002) Optimization of recombinant protein expression level in Escherichia coli by flow cytometry and cell sorting. Biotechnol Bioeng 80 :93-99


Overexpression of recombinant proteins in Escherichia coli often leads to a severe growth retardation of the host cells. The phage T7 promoter phi10 in a pET vector was utilized to express human superoxide dismutase. Induction with IPTG lead to an increase in protein content and cell size and a termination of cell division, due to the deviation of the general metabolic fluxes from all cellular processes to plasmid maintenance and foreign protein synthesis. To generate promoter mutants which are better tolerated by the host cells we constructed a random mutation library by PCR with degenerated primers in a part of the promoter involved in the binding to the RNA polymerase and the initiation of transcription. This library was sorted by flow cytometry for cells with a lower total protein content as an indicator for continued cell replication and hence a less severe stress situation. The clones obtained had a similar SOD production compared to the original strain, but were able to reach higher densities in a batch culture, which resulted in a higher total yield.

Spiro A, Lowe M (2002) Quantitation of DNA sequences in environmental PCR products by a multiplexed, bead-based method. Appl Environ Microbiol 68 :1010-1013


A first application of a multiplexed, bead-based method is described for determining the abundances of target sequences in an environmental PCR product. Target sequences as little as 0.3% of the total amount of DNA can be quantified. Tests were conducted on 16S ribosomal DNA sequences from microorganisms collected from contaminated groundwater.

Staalsoe T, Hamad AA, Hviid L, Elhassan IM, Arnot DE, Theander TG (2002) In vivo switching between variant surface antigens in human Plasmodium falciparum infection. J Infect Dis 186 :719-722


A semi-immune individual was retrospectively found to have maintained an apparently monoclonal and genotypically stable asymptomatic infection for months after clinical cure of a Plasmodium falciparum malaria episode. Before the attack, the individual had no antibodies to variant surface antigens (VSAs) expressed by an isolate (isolate A) obtained at the time of the episode or by a genotypically identical isolate (isolate B) obtained from the same individual 3 months later. Six weeks after the attack, a strong isolate A-specific VSA antibody response had developed in the complete absence of isolate B-specific antibodies. In contrast, plasma obtained 7 months after the attack contained high levels of VSA antibodies recognizing both isolates. This is the first direct evidence of in vivo switching between VSAs in human P. falciparum infection. Our results suggest that VSA switching is an important survival strategy of P. falciparum, enabling the parasite to persist despite protective, parasite-specific immune responses.

Stabel TJ, Fedorka-Cray PJ, Gray JT (2002) Neutrophil phagocytosis following inoculation of Salmonella choleraesuis into swine. Vet Res Commun 26 :103-109


Neutrophils are an important mediator of host defence, especially in early stages of infection. A major function of neutrophils is the uptake and killing of invading microbes. Little is known about the effect of neutrophil activity on the pathogenesis and development of the carrier state in swine following infection with Salmonella choleraesuis. A human whole-blood microassay using flow cytometry was modified to measure the effect of S. choleraesuis infection in vivo on the rate of ingestion, or rate of uptake, of homologous bacteria by porcine neutrophils. Pigs were inoculated intranasally with 5-8 x 10(8) CFU S. choleraesuis and blood was collected in heparinized tubes at -5, 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 days post inoculation (PI). Heat-killed S. choleraesuis were labelled with fluorescein isothiocyanate and incubated for various times with diluted whole blood. Red blood cells were lysed, external non-phagocytized bacteria were quenched with a commercially available lysing solution, and fluorescence from internalized bacteria labelled with fluorescein isothiocyanate was detected by flow cytometry. The rate of uptake by neutrophils did not increase until 2 days PI and then remained elevated to 4 days PI. The minimal uptake of S. choleraesuis early after exposure to these organisms may provide an opportunity for the pathogen to colonize and/or replicate to levels that facilitate establishment of a carrier state or clinical infection in swine.

Stapleton AE, Fennell CL, Coder DM, Wobbe CL, Roberts PL, Stamm WE (2002) Precise and rapid assessment of Escherichia coli adherence to vaginal epithelial cells by flow cytometry. Cytometry 50 :31-37


BACKGROUND : In the pathogenesis of Escherichia coli urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women, infecting bacteria adhere to vaginal and periurethral epithelial cells prior to ascending to the bladder and causing infection. Complex interactions among specific bacterial adhesins and various host factors appear to influence adherence of E. coli to mucosal surfaces such as the urogenital epithelium. To conduct population-based studies assessing host epithelial cell determinants that influence bacterial attachment, a method of measuring bacterial adherence utilizing clinically derived epithelial cell samples is needed. METHODS : We developed and standardized an efficient, accurate, high-throughput method for analyzing the adherence of uropathogenic E. coli to clinical samples containing a large number of exfoliated vaginal epithelial cells (VEC). Three wild-type E. coli strains isolated from women with UTI (IA2 expressing pap-encoded, class II fimbriae only ; F24 expressing pap-encoded, class II and type 1 fimbriae ; and F20, without pap-encoded or type I fimbriae) were transformed with gfpmut3, encoding green fluorescent protein, incubated with VECs, and analyzed by flow cytometry. RESULTS : Enumeration of the binding of each E. coli strain to 10,000 VECs showed reproducible, highly significant strain-dependent differences in adherence to VECs. Differential analysis of the relative contributions of type 1 pili and P fimbrial-mediated binding to the adherence phenotype was performed. It demonstrated that IA2 binding was dependent entirely on P fimbriae, whereas F24 binding was dependent on both P and type 1 fimbriae. CONCLUSIONS : This method has great potential for use in high-throughput analyses of clinically derived epithelial cell samples and will be valuable in population-based investigations of host-parasite interactions in UTI utilizing VECs collected from specific patient groups.

Stiner L, Halverson LJ (2002) Development and characterization of a green fluorescent protein-based bacterial biosensor for bioavailable toluene and related compounds. Appl Environ Microbiol 68 :1962-1971


A green fluorescent protein-based Pseudomonas fluorescens strain A506 biosensor was constructed and characterized for its potential to measure benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and related compounds in aqueous solutions. The biosensor is based on a plasmid carrying the toluene-benzene utilization (tbu) pathway transcriptional activator TbuT from Ralstonia pickettii PKO1 and a transcriptional fusion of its promoter PtbuA1 with a promoterless gfp gene on a broad-host-range promoter probe vector. TbuT was not limiting, since it was constitutively expressed by being fused to the neomycin phosphotransferase (nptII) promoter. The biosensor cells were readily induced, and fluorescence emission after induction periods of 3 h correlated well with toluene, benzene, ethylbenzene, and trichloroethylene concentrations. Our experiments using flow cytometry show that intermediate levels of gfp expression in response to toluene reflect uniform induction of cells. As the toluene concentration increases, the level of gfp expression per cell increases until saturation kinetics of the TbuT-PtbuA1 system are observed. Each inducer had a unique minimum concentration that was necessary for induction, with K(app) values that ranged from 3.3 +/- 1.8 microM for toluene to 35.6 +/- 16.6 microM for trichloroethylene (means +/- standard errors of the means), and maximal fluorescence response. The fluorescence response was specific for alkyl-substituted benzene derivatives and branched alkenes (di- and trichloroethylene, 2-methyl-2-butene). The biosensor responded in an additive fashion to the presence of multiple inducers and was unaffected by the presence of compounds that were not inducers, such as those present in gasoline. Flow cytometry revealed that, in response to toxic concentrations of gasoline, there was a small uninduced population and another larger fully induced population whose levels of fluorescence corresponded to the amount of effectors present in the sample. These results demonstrate the potential for green fluorescent protein-based bacterial biosensors to measure environmental contaminants.

ter SP, Ueckert JE (2002) Debating the biological reality of modelling preservation. Int J Food Microbiol 73 :409-414


Predictive food microbiology is a rapidly developing science and has made great advances. The aim is to debate a number of issues in modelling preservation : (1) inoculum and prehistory effects on lag times and process susceptibility ; (2) mechanistic vs. empirical modelling ; and (3) concluding remarks (the Species concept, methodology and biovariability). Increasing the awareness in these issues may bridge the gap between the complex reality in food microbial physiology and the application potential of predictive models. The challenge of bringing integrated preservation or risk analysis further and developing ways to truly model and link biological susceptibility distributions from raw ingredients via process survival to outgrowth probabilities in the final product remains.

Terradillos O, de La Coste A, Pollicino T, Neuveut C, Sitterlin D, Lecoeur H, Gougeon ML, Kahn A, Buendia MA (2002) The hepatitis B virus X protein abrogates Bcl-2-mediated protection against Fas apoptosis in the liver. Oncogene 21 :377-386


The role of the hepatitis B virus protein HBx in liver cell proliferation and apoptosis remains controversial. Using a transgenic mouse model, we have recently shown that HBx stimulates the apoptotic turnover of hepatocytes, independently of p53. In this paper, we tested whether the proapoptotic function of HBx can interfere with Bcl-2 during hepatic apoptosis in vivo. HBx transgenic mice were crossed with PK-hBcl-2 mice that are protected against Fas killing by constitutive overexpression of Bcl-2 in hepatocytes. In a lethal challenge with Fas antibodies, HBx expressed at low levels restored sensitivity to Fas-mediated apoptosis and fulminant hepatic failure in mice overexpressing Bcl-2. Furthermore, cytochrome c release from mitochondria and caspase 3 activation were restored to normal levels in HBx/Bcl-2 mice during transduction of the Fas signal. Thus, the proapoptotic activity of HBx overcomes or bypasses the inhibitory effect of Bcl-2 against Fas cytotoxicity. This effect was not apparently mediated through downregulation of the PK-hBcl-2 transgene or via delocalization of the Bcl-2 protein, and a direct interaction of HBx with Bcl-2, Bcl-X(L) or Bax could not be evidenced in yeast two-hybrid assays. We further show that apoptosis induced by ectopic expression of HBx is associated with mitochondrial membrane alterations and caspase 3 activation. Our data indicate that the dominant function of HBx upon Bcl-2-regulated control of apoptosis might play an important role in the pathogenesis of chronic hepatitis B.

Thomas LL, Xu W, Ardon TT (2002) Immobilized lactoferrin is a stimulus for eosinophil activation. J Immunol 169 :993-999


Eosinophils are strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of asthma, particularly in damage to the airway epithelial lining. We examined the potential for lactoferrin, a multifunctional glycoprotein present in the airway surface liquid, to activate eosinophils. Incubating eosinophils in tissue culture wells pretreated with 1-100 microg/ml human lactoferrin stimulated concentration-dependent superoxide production by eosinophils. The same concentrations of immobilized transferrin were without effect. The potency of immobilized lactoferrin was approximately one-third that of immobilized secretory IgA in the same experiments. In contrast, immobilized lactoferrin did not stimulate neutrophil superoxide production. Eosinophils bound lactoferrin as determined by flow cytometry and by binding of (125)I-labeled lactoferrin. Transferrin did not block binding of (125)I-labeled lactoferrin. Soluble lactoferrin, however, did not activate the eosinophils and did not block superoxide production stimulated by immobilized lactoferrin. Immobilized lactoferrin also stimulated release of eosinophil-derived neurotoxin and low levels of leukotriene C4 production ; the latter was significantly enhanced in the presence of 100 pg/ml GM-CSF. GM-CSF also enhanced superoxide production and eosinophil-derived neurotoxin release stimulated by the lower concentrations of immobilized lactoferrin. Pretreatment of the lactoferrin with peptide N-glycosidase F or addition of heparin or chondroitin sulfate to the incubation contents had no or only a minimal effect on the activity of immobilized lactoferrin. These results demonstrate that lactoferrin adherent to the surface epithelium may contribute to the activation of eosinophils that infiltrate the airway lumen in eosinophil-associated disorders such as asthma.

Tomkowicz B, Singh SP, Cartas M, Srinivasan A (2002) Human herpesvirus-8 encoded Kaposin : subcellular localization using immunofluorescence and biochemical approaches. DNA Cell Biol 21 :151-162


Human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) has been causally linked to the development of Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS). DNA sequence analysis of the viral genome revealed a total of 81 open reading frames (ORF). Interestingly, only a small subset of these ORFs has been shown to be transcribed in cells latently infected with HHV-8 and in cells of the KS lesions. Among the genes active during latency, kaposin, is noted for its abundance and ability to transform cells in culture, thus implicating a potential role in KS pathogenesis. This has prompted us to undertake an investigation on elucidating the mechanism(s) by which Kaposin brings about transformation of cells. Towards this goal, we have generated an eukaryotic expression plasmid encoding Kaposin (Kap). As Kaposin is predicted to be a type II membrane protein, several strategies were utilized to address this, including the generation of Kaposin with the Flag (FL) epitope (DYKDDDDK) at the C-terminus of the protein (Kap-C-FL). Antibodies specific for Kaposin (kap-2), recognized both Kaposin and Kaposin-Flag, while antibodies against the Flag epitope recognized only Kaposin-Flag. Transfection of Kap and Kap-C-FL expression plasmid DNA into NIH3T3 cells resulted in cellular clones that exhibited a phenotypic property of transformation by forming large, multiclustered cells, when grown on soft agar. Because there is controversial data regarding the localization of Kaposin in cells, we examined the subcellular localization of Kaposin using confocal microscopy. We observed that Kaposin and Kaposin-Flag showed an intense staining surrounding the nucleus. Although there was no staining at the cell membrane of transfected cells, FACS analysis using kap-2 or Flag antibodies, under nonpermeable conditions, showed positivity. Cell fractionation studies further showed that the majority of Kaposin was detected in the nuclear fraction by Western blot analysis. The cytoplasmic and detergent soluble membrane fractions did not show Kaposin protein ; however, a small amount was detected in the detergent insoluble membrane fraction. Taken together, these results suggest that Kaposin exhibits multicompartmental localization in cells.

Turnquist HR, Schenk EL, McIlhaney MM, Hickman HD, Hildebrand WH, Solheim JC (2002) Disparate binding of chaperone proteins by HLA-A subtypes. Immunogenetics 53 :830-834


We examined chaperone association with subtypes of HLA-A68 differing at positions 116 and/or 70, and analyzed the surface expression of each A68 subtype. Our findings with A68 indicate that certain subtypes have inefficient association with the assembly complex and correspondingly high surface expression, dependent on the character of position 116. Specifically, poor association of A68 subtypes with the transporter associated with antigen processing correlated with a comparatively high level of W6/32(+) forms at the cell surface. This observation suggests that intracellular retention is a dominant function of the assembly complex and that natural differences in assembly complex interaction may dictate the level of surface expression of MHC class I molecules. We also found that position 116 was crucial for HLA-A68 subtype association with the assembly complex. Our data contrast with results we obtained previously with HLA-B7 in that an aspartic acid at position 116 abrogated chaperone association for HLA-A68, whereas it increased association for HLA-B7. In total, HLA-A molecules exhibit natural allele-specific distinctions in chaperone association that correlate with differences in cell surface expression and with the identity of amino acid position 116.

Tusa N, Abbate L, Ferrante S, Lucretti S, Scarano MT (2002) Identification of zygotic and nucellar seedlings in citrus interploid crosses by means of isozymes, flow cytometry and ISSR-PCR. Cell Mol Biol Lett 7 :703-708


’Milam’ (a purported hybrid of Citrus jambhiri Lush) + ’Femminello’ lemon (Citrus limon L. Burm. f.) allotetraploid somatic hybrids were used as pollen parents in interploid crosses with diploid ’Femminello’ lemon to achieve mal secco tolerance in different populations of seedless triploid lemon types with good fruit quality. A total of 137 plantlets were obtained and subjected to screening experiments, in order to distinguish zygotic embryos from nucellars. Here we report on and discuss the results obtained with three techniques : flow cytometry, isozyme analysis and ISSR-PCR (the inter-simple sequence repeats-polymerase chain reaction). ISSR-PCR resulted to be a very efficient and reliable technique for the identification of zygotic plantlets.

Vermis K, Vandamme PA, Nelis HJ (2002) Enumeration of viable anaerobic bacteria by solid phase cytometry under aerobic conditions. J Microbiol Methods 50 :123-130


Classical enumeration methods for anaerobes are time-consuming and require special conditions. Solid phase cytometry (SPC) is a recent laser scanning technique for the quantitative detection of fluorescently labelled bacteria on a membrane filter that eliminates the need for a growth phase. Fluorescent labelling of cells results from the cleavage by intracellular esterases of a fluorescein type ester to yield a free fluorescein derivative, which is retained only in cells with an intact cytoplasmic membrane. However, as the standard labelling procedure is carried out under the conditions of aerobiosis, labelling of anaerobic bacteria does not appear to be obvious. We have labelled eight strains of vegetative anaerobic bacteria (i.e. Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, Clostridium bifermentans, C. butyricum, C. perfringens, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Porphyromonas canoris, P. gingivalis, Propionibacterium acnes) and two strains of spores (C. butyricum, C. perfringens,) within 4 h under aerobic conditions. However, anaerobiosis remained necessary for spores of C. sordellii, C. sporogenes, C. tyrobutyricum. For vegetative cells of all strains, plots of SPC versus plate counts were linear with slopes exceeding 1.0, indicating that SPC consistently yielded higher numbers of bacteria.

Vida T, Wendland B (2002) Flow cytometry/cell sorting for isolating membrane trafficking mutants in yeast. Methods Enzymol 351 :623-631


Vielma S, Virella G, Gorod A, Lopes-Virella M (2002) Chlamydophila pneumoniae infection of human aortic endothelial cells induces the expression of FC gamma receptor II (FcgammaRII). Clin Immunol 104 :265-273


Chronic endothelial infection is believed to be one of the factors able to cause endothelial cell damage and trigger the onset of human atherosclerosis. Chlamydophila pneumoniae infects endothelial cells and has received special attention because of both epidemiological and experimental evidence supporting its role as a risk factor for atherosclerosis. It is also possible that otherwise independent risk factors for atherosclerosis may have synergistic effects. Immune phenomena, such as the formation of circulating immune complexes (IC) containing modified LDL and corresponding antibodies, have been linked to the development of coronary artery disease. The antibodies involved in the immune response to modified lipoproteins are predominantly of the pro-inflammatory IgG1 and IgG3 subclasses. However, it is difficult to understand how circulating IC could cause endothelial damage and initiate the atherosclerotic process, unless they were formed in the subendothelial space or immobilized by endothelial cells. The last hypothesis would be possible if endothelial cells expressed Fcgamma receptors. Healthy endothelial cells do not express Fcgamma receptors, but endothelial cells infected by a variety of infectious agents do. Thus we decided to investigate whether infection of endothelial cells with C. pneumoniae is also able to cause the expression of Fcgamma receptors. The expression of Fcgamma receptors (CD64, 32, and 16) on human aortic endothelial cells infected with C. pneumoniae for 4, 24, 36, and 48 h was studied by flow cytometry. Twenty-four hours after infection 30-40% of the endothelial cells had detectable inclusion bodies, 8-9% of the total number of cells (approximately 25% of the infected cells) expressed FcgammaRII, and about 1.5-2% (5% of infected cells) expressed FcgammaRI and FcgammaRIII. Double-staining studies confirmed that the expression of FcgammaRII was limited to C. pneumoniae-infected endothelial cells. We conclude that C. pneumoniae infection induces primarily the expression of FcgammaRII by endothelial cells and this may be a significant link between two proposed pathogenic mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of human atherosclerosis.

Voyich JM, DeLeo FR (2002) Host-pathogen interactions : leukocyte phagocytosis and associated sequelae. Methods Cell Sci 24 :79-90


Polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) are a critical component of the human innate immune response and are the first line of defense against invading microorganisms. Phagocytosis of invading microbes induces production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by PMNs, which facilitates bactericidal activity. In addition to eliminating microorganisms, phagocytosis also accelerates PMN apoptosis, a process critical for resolution of inflammation. Inasmuch as leukocyte phagocytosis and ROS production are key components of the innate immune response, we developed flow cytometric methods to evaluate these processes in human PMNs. In contrast to traditional microscopy-based analyses, the methods described herein provide objective and high throughput measures of host cell-pathogen interactions. Importantly, they can be adapted for use with a number of fluorometric probes, and bacterium and host cell of choice, and each is based upon a common phagocytosis assay system. We also describe methods to measure phagocytosis-induced PMN apoptosis with this assay system. These methods entail detecting surface-exposed phosphatidylserine (early apoptosis), and measuring PMN chromatin condensation and DNA fragmentation (late apoptosis). Taken together, these assays provide rapid and accurate assessment of critical PMN processes.

Vural F, Demirkan F, Ozsan GH, Kargi A, Cabuk M, Ozcan MA, Sayan M, Ozkal S, Cehreli C, Undar B (2002) EBV-associated nasal-type T/natural killer cell lymphoma presenting with polyserositis and rhabdomyolysis. Leuk Lymphoma 43 :1859-1863


Nasal-type T/natural killer (NK)-cell lymphoma, a distinct clinicopathological entity is highly associated with Epstein-Barr virus which shows an aggressive course. We present a CD56+ nasal-type T/(NK)-cell lymphoma case with systemic manifestations of rhabdomyolysis and polyserositis who died of multiorgan failure shortly after his admission to hospital in spite of adequate chemotherapy and supportive care.

Wagner S, Skripchenko A, Thompson-Montgomery D (2002) Use of a flow-cell system to investigate virucidal dimethylmethylene blue phototreatment in two RBC additive solutions. Transfusion 42 :1200-1205


BACKGROUND : Limited photoinactivation kinetics, use of low-volume 30 percent Hct RBCs, and hemolysis have restricted the practicality of the use of dimethylmethylene blue (DMMB) and light for RBC decontamination. A flow-cell system was developed to rapidly treat larger volumes of oxygenated 45 percent Hct RBCs with high-intensity red light. MATERIALS AND METHODS : CPD-whole blood was WBC reduced, RBCs were diluted in additive solutions (either Adsol or Erythrosol), and suspensions were subsequently oxygenated by gas overlay. Intracellular or extracellular VSV and DMMB were sequentially added. VSV-infected RBC suspensions (45% Hct) were passed through 1-mm-thick flow cells and illuminated. Samples were titered for VSV, stored for up to 42 days, and assayed for Hb, supernatant potassium, ATP, and MCV. RESULTS : The use of oxygenated RBCs resulted in rapid and reproducible photoinactivaton of > or = 6.6 log extracellular and approximately 4.0 log intracellular VSV independent of additive solution. Phototreated Adsol RBCs exhibited more than 10 times greater hemolysis and 30 percent greater MCV during storage than identically treated Erythrosol RBCs. Phototreatment caused RBC potassium leakage from RBCs in both additive solutions. ATP levels were better preserved in Erythrosol than Adsol RBCs. CONCLUSION : A rapid, reproducible, and robust method for photoinactivating model virus in RBC suspensions was developed. Despite improved hemolysis and ATP levels in Erythrosol-phototreated RBCs, storage properties were not maintained for 42 days.

Wang YT, Liu W, Seah JN, Lam CS, Xiang JH, Korzh V, Kwang J (2002) White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) infects specific hemocytes of the shrimp Penaeus merguiensis. Dis Aquat Organ 52 :249-259


White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) was specifically detected by PCR in Penaeus merguiensis hemocytes, hemolymph and plasma. This suggested a close association between the shrimp hemolymph and the virus. Three types of hemocyte from shrimp were isolated using flow cytometry. Dynamic changes of the hemocyte subpopulations in P. merguiensis at different times after infection were observed, indicating that the WSSV infection selectively affected specific subpopulations. Immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and a Wright-Giemsa double staining study of hemocyte types further confirmed the cellular localization of the virus in the infected hemocytes. Electron microscopy revealed virus particles in both vacuoles and the nucleus of the semigranular cells (SGC), as well as in the vacuoles of the granular cells (GC). However, no virus could be detected in the hyaline cells (HC). Our results suggest that the virus infects 2 types of shrimp hemocytes—GCs and SGCs. The SGC type contains higher virus loads and exhibits faster infection rates, and is apparently more susceptible to WSSV infection.

Wawrik B, Paul JH, Tabita FR (2002) Real-time PCR quantification of rbcL (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase) mRNA in diatoms and pelagophytes. Appl Environ Microbiol 68 :3771-3779


Transcriptional activity is often used as a surrogate for gene expression in environmental microbial communities. We developed a real-time PCR assay in which the ABI-Prism (PE Applied Biosystems) detection system is used for quantification of large-subunit ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate caboxylase/oxygenase (rbcL) mRNA in diatoms and pelagophytes both in cultures and from natural phytoplankton communities. Plasmid DNA containing rbcL inserts, as well as in vitro transcribed mRNA of the plasmids, was used to generate standard curves with a dynamic range of more than 6 orders of magnitude with high accuracy and precision (R(2) = 0.998). Expression levels in a cultured diatom (Phaeodactylum tricornutum) were quantified through one light-dark cycle by using traditional 35S-labeled oligonucleotide hybridization and real-time PCR. The mRNA levels detected by the two techniques were similar and correlated well (R(2) = 0.95 ; slope = 1.2). The quantities obtained by hybridization were slightly, yet significantly, larger (t = 5.29 ; P = 0.0011) than the quantities obtained by real-time PCR. This was most likely because partially degraded transcripts were not detected by real-time PCR. rbcL mRNA detection by real-time PCR was 3 orders of magnitude more sensitive than rbcL mRNA detection by hybridization. Diatom and pelagophyte rbcL mRNAs were also quantified in a profile from an oligotrophic site in the Gulf of Mexico. We detected the smallest amount of diatom rbcL expression in the surface water and maximum expression at a depth that coincided with the depth of the subsurface chlorophyll maximum. These results indicate that real-time PCR may be utilized for quantification of microbial gene expression in the environment.

Wehrman T, Kleaveland B, Her JH, Balint RF, Blau HM (2002) Protein-protein interactions monitored in mammalian cells via complementation of beta -lactamase enzyme fragments. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 99 :3469-3474


We have defined inactive alpha and omega fragments of beta-lactamase that can complement to form a functional enzyme in both bacteria and mammalian cells, serving as a readout for the interaction of proteins fused to the fragments. Critical to this advance was the identification of a tripeptide, Asn-Gly-Arg, which when juxtaposed at the carboxyl terminus of the alpha fragment increased complemented enzyme activity by up to 4 orders of magnitude. beta-Lactamase is well suited to monitoring constitutive and inducible protein interactions because it is small (29 kDa), monomeric, and assayable with a fluorescent cell-permeable substrate. The negligible background, the magnitude of induced signal caused by enzymatic amplification, and detection of signal within minutes are unparalleled in mammalian protein interaction detection systems published to date.

Wendland M, Bumann D (2002) Optimization of GFP levels for analyzing Salmonella gene expression during an infection. FEBS Lett 521 :105-108


Green fluorescent protein (GFP) is an attractive reporter for Salmonella gene expression analysis but might interfere with virulence when expressed at high levels. To identify suitable GFP levels, we constructed a series of Salmonella strains expressing different amounts of GFP and measured their fluorescence and colonization levels in infected mice. The results show that GFP concentrations in the range of 7000-200,000 molecules per Salmonella cell are detectable in ex vivo samples using flow cytometry, and cause no major Salmonella virulence defect. Appropriate GFP levels can be obtained with weak promoters and stable GFP, or strong promoters and destabilized GFP.

Whist SK, Storset AK, Larsen HJ (2002) Functions of neutrophils in sheep experimentally infected with Ehrlichia phagocytophila. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 86 :183-193


Ehrlichia phagocytophila infection in sheep is characterized by persistent neutropaenia, indicative of decreased phagocytic capacity. This predisposes infected animals to other infections. A whole blood flow cytometrical method was used to document the degree and extent of reduced phagocytic and respiratory burst activity in phagocytes during an experimental infection with E. phagocytophila, and monitored until 56 days post-infection. Six sheep at 5 months of age were inoculated with an intravenous injection of infected blood. Six age-matched sheep were used as controls. A period of reduced respiratory burst lasting up to Day 17 post-infection was recorded. The population of cells showing phagocytic activity without respiratory burst was larger in the infected animals compared to controls up to Day 45 post-infection.

Woo SY, Kie JH, Ryu KH, Moon HS, Chung WS, Hwang DH, Kim SK, Han TH, Hahn MJ, Chong YH, Park HK, Seoh JY (2002) Megakaryothrombopoiesis during ex vivo expansion of human cord blood CD34+ cells using thrombopoietin. Scand J Immunol 55 :88-95


Thrombopoietin (TPO) is one of the most promising stimulants for ex vivo expansion of haematopoietic stem cells. Previously, we have found that TPO induces a characteristic pattern of apoptosis during ex vivo expansion of human cord blood (CB) CD34+ cells and that the TPO-induced apoptotic cells belong to megakaryocyte (MK) lineage. In this study, we have examined the maturation of MK and platelet production in association with the TPO-induced apoptosis. CD34+ cells, purified from human CB, were expanded in serum-free conditions stimulated with TPO. Apoptosis was confirmed by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate-biotin nick end labelling (TUNEL) assay and electron microscopy (EM). Simultaneous measurement of DNA content and immunophenotyping revealed that the cells with higher DNA content (>8 N) constituted less than 5% of the CD41+ fractions until day 14, implying premature apoptosis of MKs before full polyploidization. Nevertheless, EM observation showed not only platelet territories but also newly produced platelets in which granules and microfilaments could be identified. Furthermore, flow cytometry demonstrated that the platelet fraction expressed P-selectin and an activation motif on GPIIb/IIIa recognized by monoclonal antibody PAC-1 upon stimulation with adenosine diphosphate (ADP). In addition, periodic acid-Schiff (PAS)-positive materials and nonspecific esterase activities could be demonstrated. Therefore, it is suggested that platelet production and the accompanying processes, rather than apoptosis only, be hastened during the ex vivo expansion of CB CD34+ cells when using TPO.

Xiong YQ, Van Wamel W, Nast CC, Yeaman MR, Cheung AL, Bayer AS (2002) Activation and transcriptional interaction between agr RNAII and RNAIII in Staphylococcus aureus in vitro and in an experimental endocarditis model. J Infect Dis 186 :668-677


This study compared the promoter activation profiles of the 2 major transcripts of the Staphylococcus aureus global regulon, agr (RNAII and RNAIII). In vitro, RNAIII activation temporally followed RNAII activation and was absent in agr mutants. In experimental endocarditis, maximal RNAII activation in vegetations occurred early, followed by progressive increases in RNAIII activation (P<.05 ; 2 vs. 48 h) ; this paralleled significant increases in vegetation bacterial densities over time (P<.05 ; 2 and 6 vs. 48 h). At 48 h of infection, S. aureus densities in vegetations were significantly higher than those in kidney or spleen tissue (P<.05), paralleling a significantly greater RNAIII activation profile in vegetations than in the latter tissues (P<.05). Of importance, RNAIII activation was observed in vegetations in 2 agr mutants. These data demonstrate that RNAIII activation in vivo is time and cell density dependent, may be tissue specific, and can occur through RNAII-dependent and -independent mechanisms.

Xu Y, McKenna RW, Hoang MP, Collins RH, Kroft SH (2002) Composite angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma : a case report and review of the literature. Am J Clin Pathol 118 :848-854


We report a rare case of composite angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AILT) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma occurring in a 48-year-old woman with generalized lymphadenopathy and hepatosplenomegaly. The patient initially sought care at a local hospital with a single enlarged left cervical lymph node. Histologic examination of the node was interpreted as an atypical immunoblastic proliferation. She developed generalized lymphadenopathy 10 months later and was referred to our institution for further evaluation. The recent biopsy of the cervical node showed typical features of AILT Flow cytometric immunophenotyping identified an aberrant CD4+ T-cell population that lacked surface CD3. Polymerase chain reaction analysis of the T-cell receptor gamma gene revealed a clonal rearrangement. In addition to the AILT, the lymph node showed partial involvement by a diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The B lymphoma cells and admixed immnunoblasts and Reed-Sternberg-like B cells in the AILT were positive for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) by in situ hybridization. Ourfindings raise the possibility that the EBV-associated large B-cell lymphoma is a secondary event in AILT via EBV infection or reactivation followed by clonal expansion of an immortalized EBV-infected B cell clone.

Yamada M, Nakae H, Yumoto H, Shinohara C, Ebisu S, Matsuo T (2002) N-acetyl-D-galactosamine specific lectin of Eikenella corrodens induces intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) production by human oral epithelial cells. J Med Microbiol 51 :1080-1089


During the acute inflammatory response in periodontitis, gingival epithelial cells are considered to play important roles in the recruitment of inflammatory cells to the site of infection through the secretion of chemokines. However, little is known about the expression of molecules that are involved in the interaction between the epithelium and neutrophils following bacterial attachment. Earlier work reported that periodontopathogenic Eikenella corrodens strain 1,073 up-regulated the expression and secretion of chemokines such as interleukin-8 (IL-8) from KB cells (a human oral epithelial cell line derived from a human oral epidermoid carcinoma). To elucidate the mechanism of the transmigration of neutrophils through the epithelium, the present study investigated the expression of adhesion molecules on KB cells in response to E. corrodens attachment. Adhesion molecule gene expression was assessed by RT-PCR and adhesion proteins expressed on KB cell surfaces were determined by cell-based ELISA and FACS. In RT-PCR, ICAM-1 mRNA levels were significantly increased within 1 h in response to exposure to E. corrodens and continued to increase over the 12-h period of study. In ELISA, increased surface ICAM-1 expression was paralleled by increased ICAM-1 mRNA levels. Furthermore, the increases in ICAM-1 expression on epithelial cells infected with E. corrodens were observed to be due to the N-acetyl-D-galactosamine (GalNAc) specific bacterial lectin-like substance of E. corrodens (EcLS), which was one of the adhesins of E. corrodens. This is the first study to report that a bacterial lectin-like substance increased the expression of ICAM-1 on gingival epithelial cells.

Yoshida A, Kuramitsu HK (2002) Streptococcus mutans biofilm formation : utilization of a gtfB promoter-green fluorescent protein (PgtfB ::gfp) construct to monitor development. Microbiology 148 :3385-3394


The glucosyltransferases of Streptococcus mutans are recognized as important virulence factors for this cariogenic bacterium. To study the expression of the gtfB gene of S. mutans in biofilms, a gtfB promoter (PgtfB)-green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter system was developed. A Streptococcus-Escherichia coli shuttle vector harbouring a PGTFB ::gfp cassette was introduced into S. mutans GS-5, and the expression of GFP by the transformed S. mutans cells was confirmed by fluorescence microscopy. Furthermore, confocal laser scanning microscopy was carried out on biofilms attached to polystyrene plates ; enhanced gtfB expression was observed in various microcolonies across these biofilms. To further test the hypothesis that gtfB expression is upregulated in biofilms, flow cytometry analysis was done on planktonic and biofilm cells ; this analysis showed an approximately five-fold increase in gtfB expression in the biofilm cells relative to the planktonic cells. Real-time (TaqMan) PCR analysis confirmed that gtfB expression in the biofilm cells was enhanced relative to the planktonic cells. Previously, it has been suggested that the S. mutans gtfC gene might be co-transcribed with gtfB. Therefore, RT-PCR analysis was performed on gtfB-expressing S. mutans ; this analysis demonstrated that gtfC was co-transcribed with gtfB. These results indicated that GFP expression can be utilized to examine gene regulation in S. mutans biofilm formation.

Yoshida T, Koide N, Sugiyama T, Mori I, Yokochi T (2002) A novel caspase dependent pathway is involved in apoptosis of human endothelial cells by Shiga toxins. Microbiol Immunol 46 :697-700


Shiga toxins have been shown to induce apoptosis on primary cultures, but not passaged ones, of human umbilical vein endothelial cells, independent of cytokine pre-treatment. Here, a peculiar pattern of caspase activation was observed ; caspase-3 and -2, but not conventional upstream caspases, were activated at the initial phase of 6 hr, whereas a broad range inhibitor of caspases, VAD-fmk, but not mono-specific ones, suppressed DNA fragmentation and cell death. These results suggest additional analogous molecules, which have yet to be delineated, are involved. The requirement of retrograde uptake of toxins was also proved by the intervening effect of brefeldin A.

Zengler K, Toledo G, Rappe M, Elkins J, Mathur EJ, Short JM, Keller M (2002) Cultivating the uncultured. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 99 :15681-15686


The recent application of molecular phylogeny to environmental samples has resulted in the discovery of an abundance of unique and previously unrecognized microorganisms. The vast majority of this microbial diversity has proved refractory to cultivation. Here, we describe a universal method that provides access to this immense reservoir of untapped microbial diversity. This technique combines encapsulation of cells in gel microdroplets for massively parallel microbial cultivation under low nutrient flux conditions, followed by flow cytometry to detect microdroplets containing microcolonies. The ability to grow and study previously uncultured organisms in pure culture will enhance our understanding of microbial physiology and metabolic adaptation and will provide new sources of microbial metabolites. We show that this technology can be applied to samples from several different environments, including seawater and soil.

Zhang ZW, Dorrell N, Wren BW, Farthingt MJ (2002) Helicobacter pylori adherence to gastric epithelial cells : a role for non-adhesin virulence genes. J Med Microbiol 51 :495-502


Helicobacter pylori is a major aetiological agent in gastroduodenal disorders and adherence of the bacteria to the gastric mucosa is one of the initial stages of infection. Although a number of specific adhesins has been identified, other H. pylori virulence factors may play a role in adherence to gastric epithelial cells directly or through interaction with other adhesins. This study assessed the effect of 16 H. pylori virulence factors on the adherence of the bacteria to gastric AGS cells and on gastric epithelial cell cycle distribution. Defined isogenic H. pylori SS1 mutants were used. After co-incubation of gastric AGS cells and bacteria, adherence of H. pylori to AGS cells was visualised by immunofluorescence microscopy and quantified by flow cytometry. Cell cycle phase distribution was analysed by flow cytometry with propidium iodide staining. Mutants were tested for their ability to adhere to AGS cells and compared with the wild-type SS1 strain. Mutations in genes in the cag pathogenicity island showed that cagP and cagE mutants adhered less than the wild-type strain to AGS cells, whereas a cagF mutant showed no reduction in adherence. Mutations in genes involved in flagellar biosynthesis showed that the adherence ability of fliQ, fliM and fliS mutants was reduced, but a flhB mutant possessed wild-type levels of adherence. Mutations in genes coding for the urease (ureB) and phospholipase (pldA) enzymes did not affect adherence, but mutation of the tlyA gene encoding an H. pylori haemolysin resulted in a reduced adherence. A fliQ mutant, with reduced adherence to AGS cells, was less able to induce AGS cell apoptosis than SS1. The ability to induce G0G1 cell cycle arrest was also abolished in the fliQ mutant. However, an increased cell number in S phase was observed when AGS cells were exposed to the fliQ mutant compared with SS1, suggesting that unattached bacteria may still be able to stimulate cell proliferation. In addition to known adhesins, other bacterial virulence factors such as CagE, CagP, FliQ, FliM, FliS and TlyA appear to play a role in H. pylori adherence to gastric epithelial cells. Mutations in these genes may affect H. pylori pathogenicity by reducing either the ability of the bacteria to attach to gastric epithelial cells or the intensity of bacteria-host cell interactions.

Zhou J, Stohlman SA, Atkinson R, Hinton DR, Marten NW (2002) Matrix metalloproteinase expression correlates with virulence following neurotropic mouse hepatitis virus infection. J Virol 76 :7374-7384


The relationship(s) between viral virulence and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression in the central nervous system (CNS) of mice undergoing lethal and sublethal infections with neurotropic mouse hepatitis virus was investigated. Lethal infection induced increased levels of MMP-3 and MMP-12 mRNAs as well as that of tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases 1 (TIMP-1) compared to sublethal infection. Increased induction of MMP, TIMP, and chemokine expression correlated with increased virus replication but not with inflammatory cell infiltration. Infection of immunosuppressed mice suggested that expression of most MMP, TIMP, and chemokine mRNA was induced primarily in CNS-resident cells. By contrast, MMP-9 protein activity was associated with the infiltration of neutrophils into the CNS. These data indicate an association between the magnitude of inflammatory gene expression within the CNS and viral virulence.

Zhu PY, Huang YF, Xu JP (2002) [Isolation and identification of spermatids from mouse testis]. Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue 8 :28-31


OBJECTIVES : To develop a simple and effective method by which spermatids can be isolated from mouse testis. METHODS : Combination of enzymatic digestion was used to prepare suspension of spermatogenic cells from adult mouse testis, and then a modified discontinuous Percoll gradient (15%, 22%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%) centrifugation method was introduced to isolate spermatids from the cellular suspension. The content of spermatids in each isolated fraction by Percoll method was determined by morphology (Wright-Giemsa staining) and flow cytometry analysis, and the viability of spermatogenic cells was assessed using Eosin Y exclusion test. RESULTS : More than 97% of the testicular cells remained their viability after enzymatic digestion. After Percoll centrifuged, six fractions were formed. In each isolated fraction, the 22% fraction contained mostly spermatids(mean 86.7%) and cell viability was more than 85.5%. While in the 30% fraction, immature spermatogenic cells were present, and more than 92% of the cells remained their viability. CONCLUSIONS : A large of relatively purified spermatids can be isolated from mouse testis by enzymatic digestion combined discontinuous Percoll gradient centrifugation method.

Ziglio G, Andreottola G, Barbesti S, Boschetti G, Bruni L, Foladori P, Villa R (2002) Assessment of activated sludge viability with flow cytometry. Water Res 36 :460-468


The aim of the study was to evaluate the applicability of fluorescent dyes and multiparameter flow cytometry for the rapid and direct viability/activity assessment of activated sludge samples taken from wastewater treatment plants. Viability and activity of the biomass were estimated respectively through cellular membrane integrity, staining with SYBR Green I and Propidium Iodide, and through fluorogenic dyes capable of detecting enzymatic activity, as FDA and BCECF-AM. A procedure has been developed to disaggregate sludge flocs before dyes staining and cytometric analysis. The developed procedure allows a high recovery of bacteria with good accuracy and repeatability, and minimize the damage of the cells suspension obtained from the disaggregation of the flocs. These measurements were applied to estimate the two main parameters required to define the biological activated sludge process : the endogenous decay rate and the specific growth rate in exponential phase with high F/M ratio. Oxygen utilization rate measurements (OUR) were conducted to conventionally monitor the activity of the biomass. The preliminary data are encouraging and support the possibility to investigate bacteria dynamics on wastewater treatment plants.

Zilles JL, Peccia J, Noguera DR (2002) Microbiology of enhanced biological phosphorus removal in aerated-anoxic Orbal processes. Water Environ Res 74 :428-436


The traditional process for enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) in wastewater treatment involves an anaerobic zone followed by an aerobic zone. Although there is no strict anaerobic zone in aerated-anoxic Orbal processes, phosphorus removal in excess of that required for cell growth does occur. The microbial ecology of polyphosphate-accumulating organisms (PAO) in two full-scale Orbal wastewater treatment plants was investigated using flow cytometry to physically separate PAO from non-PAO and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) to identify organisms. Although Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis, an uncultured organism associated with EBPR in acetate-fed laboratory-scale reactors, was detected, it did not seem to be the dominant PAO in these processes. Comparative FISH analyses of the activated sludge and the PAO-rich subpopulation did not reveal the presence of a dominant group of PAO in these full-scale plants. Rather, the analysis suggested that the operational characteristics of aerated-anoxic processes might select for a diverse PAO community that is significantly different from that observed in acetate-fed laboratory reactors or in traditional EBPR configurations.

Zoetendal EG, Ben-Amor K, Harmsen HJ, Schut F, Akkermans AD, de Vos WM (2002) Quantification of uncultured Ruminococcus obeum-like bacteria in human fecal samples by fluorescent in situ hybridization and flow cytometry using 16S rRNA-targeted probes. Appl Environ Microbiol 68 :4225-4232


A 16S rRNA-targeted probe was designed and validated in order to quantify the number of uncultured Ruminococcus obeum-like bacteria by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). These bacteria have frequently been found in 16S ribosomal DNA clone libraries prepared from bacterial communities in the human intestine. Thirty-two reference strains from the human intestine, including a phylogenetically related strain and strains of some other Ruminococcus species, were used as negative controls and did not hybridize with the new probe. Microscopic and flow cytometric analyses revealed that a group of morphologically similar bacteria in feces did hybridize with this probe. Moreover, it was found that all hybridizing cells also hybridized with a probe specific for the Clostridium coccoides-Eubacterium rectale group, a group that includes the uncultured R. obeum-like bacteria. Quantification of the uncultured R. obeum-like bacteria and the C. coccoides-E. rectale group by flow cytometry and microscopy revealed that these groups comprised approximately 2.5 and 16% of the total community in fecal samples, respectively. The uncultured R. obeum-like bacteria comprise about 16% of the C. coccoides-E. rectale group. These results indicate that the uncultured R. obeum-like bacteria are numerically important in human feces. Statistical analysis revealed no significant difference between the microscopic and flow cytometric counts and the different feces sampling times, while a significant host-specific effect on the counts was observed. Our data demonstrate that the combination of FISH and flow cytometry is a useful approach for studying the ecology of uncultured bacteria in the human gastrointestinal tract.