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Lipid Peroxidation in the Killing of Phagocytized Pneumococci

By S. B. Shohet, J. Pitt, R. L. Baehner and D. G. Poplack


To directly examine the role of hydrogen peroxide in the killing of bacteria after ingestion by granulocytes, we have studied some of the events of phagocytosis of a mutant strain of pneumococci which is relatively deficient in peroxide production. The hydrogen peroxide-deficient pneumococci and the otherwise identical wild type were grown with [(14)C]arachidonic and [(3)H]palmitic acid labels to label their lipids with unsaturated and saturated fatty acids, respectively. They were then incubated with both normal and chronic granulomatous disease granulocytes. The rates of ingestion and bacterial killing and the stability of fatty acids in the cell-bacteria complex were followed. Radioactive carbon dioxide released from glucose was also independently followed to measure glucose oxidation. Ingestion was similar for all cell-bacteria combinations. Chronic granulomatous disease cells killed the peroxide-positive wild pneumococci much more effectively (20-fold) than the peroxide-deficient mutant. Normal cells killed both peroxide-positive and -negative strains effectively. A considerable loss of [(14)C]arachidonic acid (∼40%) consistent with lipid peroxidation of this unsaturated fatty acid was observed in all normal cells and in chronic granulomatous disease cells with peroxide-positive pneumococci. However, no loss of [(14)C]arachidonic acid occurred in chronic granulomatous disease cells with the peroxide-deficient pneumococci. No loss tritiated palmitic acid occurred in any cell-bacteria combination. Glucose oxidation was impaired in the chronic granulomatous disease cells in comparison to normal cells at rest and was especially impaired in chronic granulomatous disease cells ingesting the peroxide-deficient mutant pneumococci. This defect was partially corrected after phagocytosis of the peroxide-positive strain. These data directly support the hypothesis that bacterial killing is partially dependent upon an intact peroxide-generating system in the leukocyte-bacteria complex. Moreover, they indicate that bacterial lipid peroxidation is associated with the generation of peroxide during phagocytosis. Finally, they suggest that such peroxidation may contribute to effective phagocytic bacterial killing

Topics: Pathogenic Mechanisms, Ecology, and Epidemiology
Year: 1974
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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