Cell Wars: a Laboratory Model for Macrophage Phagocytosis of Gram-Negative Bacteria

  • Authors: Jeffrey Shupp1, Debra Yourick2, Marti Jett3, Margery Anderson4
    Affiliations: 1: Walter Reed Army Institute of Research; 2: Walter Reed Army Institute of Research; 3: Walter Reed Army Institute of Research; 4: Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
  • Citation: Jeffrey Shupp, Debra Yourick, Marti Jett, Margery Anderson. 2005. Cell wars: a laboratory model for macrophage phagocytosis of gram-negative bacteria.
  • Publication Date : January 2005
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Students culture mouse macrophage cells to confluence in a six-well plate and then unleash these cells on cultured Escherichia coli bacteria.

Three aspects of phagocytosis are examined:

  1. Visualizing E. coli within the macrophage.
  2. Determining how many bacteria are ingested by the macrophage cells.
  3. Determining the number of bacteria still viable after a 1-hour exposure to the macrophages’ lethal oxidative abilities.

A simple quantitative methodology for evaluating host-microbe interaction is introduced. Assessment is a review of the student’s laboratory notebook, questions in the handout, experimental results, and a brief laboratory report that integrates data analysis with discussion.

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