The assessment of relative surface hydrophobicity as a factor involved in the activation of human polymorphonuclear leukocytes by uropathogenic strains of Escherichia coli
Steadman, R.; Topley, N.; Knowlden, J.M.; Mackenzie, R.K.; Williams, J.D.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1013(1): 21-27
The initiation of the respiratory burst and the degranulation of human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) in response to stimulation by uropathogenic strains of Escherichia coli is dependent on the expression of Type 1 fimbriae by those strains. These PMN responses correlate with an increasing tendency of the interacting E. coli strain to be retained on hydrophobic columns. The present work assessed the measurement of relative surface hydrophobicity in relation to PMN activation. Type 1 fimbriate organisms bound most readily to Octyl-Sepharose columns and were strongly agglutinated in the salt aggregation test. In contrast, the same organisms partitioned to the dextran-rich (hydrophilic) phase of aqueous two-polymer phase systems. Electron microscopic observation of the organisms eluted from the Octyl-Sepharose columns and of the organisms recovered from both phases of the aqueous two-phase systems demonstrated, however, that both Type 1 and P-fimbriate organisms were retained on the columns and partitioned into the dextran-rich phase as a consequence of their being fimbriate and failed to identify this as a major factor in the activation of PMN. In addition electron microscopy demonstrated that each P-fimbriate population had fewer organisms expressing fimbriae than did Type 1 fimbriate populations, confirming the importance of phase variation as a factor affecting the physicochemical characteristics of a bacterial population.