The effect of Neisseria gonorrhoeae on release of enzymes from human leucocytes was determined. Supernatants from incubation mixtures containing leucocytes and gonococci were assayed for activity of the cytoplasmic enzyme, lactic acid dehydrogenase, as well as for activity of the hydrolytic enzymes, β-glucuronidase and lysozyme, which are found primarily in leucocyte granules. Thirty-minute incubation of leucocytes with pilated T1 gonococci resulted in a negligible release of lactic acid dehydrogenase and little release of β-glucuronidase even at bacteria to leucocyte ratios as high as 50 to 1. Lysozyme release, however, was significant at this ratio and at 20 to 1 but not at 5 to 1. Incubation with non-pilated T4 bacteria yielded no significant release of lactic acid dehydrogenase or β-glucuronidase, but it caused a significant release of lysozyme at bacteria to leucocyte ratios as low as 2 to 1. These results suggested that the lysozyme release might be related to the degree of phagocytic activity since, at low ratios, T4 was readily ingested but T1 was not. Consistent with this hypothesis, serum which promoted the phagocytosis of the pilated gonococci also stimulated lysozyme release at low ratios of T1 to leucocyte. Absorption of the serum with T1 abolished the opsonic effect and markedly diminished the amount of lysozyme released.
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