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J Reticuloendothel Soc. 1982 Dec;32(6):461-76.

Kinetics of killing Listeria monocytogenes by macrophages: correlation of 3H-DNA release from labeled bacteria and changes in numbers of viable organisms by mathematical model.

Abstract

Conventional methods of assessing antibacterial activities of macrophages by viable counting are limited by the precision of the statistics and are difficult to interpret quantitatively because of unrestrained extracellular growth of bacteria. An alternative technique based on the release of radioactive DNA from labeled bacteria has been offered as overcoming these drawbacks. To assess it for use with macrophages I have made a correlation with the conventional viable counting method using a mathematical model. Opsonized Listeria monocytogenes labeled with 3H-thymidine were exposed to rat macrophages for periods up to 4 hr. Numbers of viable bacteria determined after sonication increased exponentially in the absence of live cells and this growth rate was progressively inhibited by increasing numbers of macrophages. After a lag period of 30-60 min soluble 3H appeared in the supernatant, the amount increasing with time and numbers of macrophages. To correlate these data I developed a mathematical model that considered that changes in numbers of viable organisms were due to the difference between rates of 1) growth of extracellular bacteria and 2) killing within the macrophage. On the basis of this model curves of best fit to the viable counts data were used to predict the release of radioactivity, assuming that death of a bacterium led to the total release of its label. These predictions and the experimental data agreed well, the lag period of 30-60 min between death of the bacterium and release of radioactivity being consistent with intracellular digestion. Release of soluble radioactivity appears to be an accurate reflection of the number of bacteria killed within the macrophage.

PMID:
6819359
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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