Send to

Choose Destination
Infect Immun. 2019 Jan 24;87(2). pii: e00790-18. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00790-18. Print 2019 Feb.

Novel Assay To Characterize Neutrophil Responses to Oral Biofilms.

Author information

Matrix Dynamics Group, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Matrix Dynamics Group, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Department of Dental Oncology, Maxillofacial, and Ocular Prosthetics, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Centre for Advanced Dental Research and Care, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Neutrophils, the most numerous leukocytes, play an important role in maintaining oral health through interactions with oral microbial biofilms. Both neutrophil hyperactivity and the bacterial subversion of neutrophil responses can cause inflammation-mediated tissue damage like that seen in periodontal disease. We describe here an assay that assesses neutrophil activation responses to monospecies biofilm bacteria in vitro based on the surface expression of cluster of differentiation (CD) markers associated with various neutrophil functions. Most of what we know about neutrophil responses to bacteria is based on in vitro assays that use planktonic bacteria and isolated/preactivated neutrophils, which makes interpretation of the neutrophil responses to bacteria a challenge. An understanding of how neutrophils differentially interact with and respond to commensal and pathogenic oral bacteria is necessary in order to further understand the neutrophil's role in maintaining oral health and the pathogenesis of periodontal disease. In this study, a flow cytometry-based in vitro assay was developed to characterize neutrophil activation states based on CD marker expressions in response to oral monospecies bacterial biofilms. Using this approach, changes in CD marker expressions in response to specific prominent oral commensal and pathogenic bacteria were assayed. Several functional assays, including assays for phagocytosis, production of reactive oxygen species, activation of the transcription factor Nrf2, neutrophil extracellular trap formation, and myeloperoxidase release, were also performed to correlate neutrophil function with CD marker expression. Our results demonstrate that neutrophils display bacterial species-specific responses. This assay can be used to characterize how specific biofilms alter specific neutrophil pathways associated with their activation.


CD markers; biofilm; commensal bacteria; immunology; microbiology; neutrophil; pathogens

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center