Articles by M. Brittany Johnson in JoVE
Fluorescence Microscopy Methods for Determining the Viability of Bacteria in Association with Mammalian Cells M. Brittany Johnson1, Alison K. Criss1 1Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center Central to the field of bacterial pathogenesis is the ability to define if and how microbes survive after exposure to eukaryotic cells. This article outlines protocols for the use of fluorescent dyes that reveal the viability of individual bacteria inside and associated with host cells.
Other articles by M. Brittany Johnson on PubMed
Cloning and Characterization of Voltage-gated Calcium Channel Alpha1 Subunits in Xenopus Laevis During Development Developmental Dynamics : an Official Publication of the American Association of Anatomists. Nov, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19795515 Voltage-gated calcium channels play a critical role in regulating the Ca2+ activity that mediates many aspects of neural development, including neural induction, neurotransmitter phenotype specification, and neurite outgrowth. Using Xenopus laevis embryos, we describe the spatial and temporal expression patterns during development of the 10 pore-forming alpha1 subunits that define the channels' kinetic properties. In situ hybridization indicates that CaV1.2, CaV2.1, CaV2.2, and CaV3.2 are expressed during neurula stages throughout the neural tube. These, along with CaV1.3 and CaV2.3, beginning at early tail bud stages, and CaV3.1 at late tail bud stages, are detected in complex patterns within the brain and spinal cord through swimming tadpole stages. Additional expression of various alpha1 subunits was observed in the cranial ganglia, retina, olfactory epithelium, pineal gland, and heart. The unique expression patterns for the different alpha1 subunits suggests they are under precise spatial and temporal regulation and are serving specific functions during embryonic development.
Resistance of Neisseria Gonorrhoeae to Neutrophils Frontiers in Microbiology. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21747795 Infection with the human-specific bacterial pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae triggers a potent, local inflammatory response driven by polymorphonuclear leukocytes (neutrophils or PMNs). PMNs are terminally differentiated phagocytic cells that are a vital component of the host innate immune response and are the first responders to bacterial and fungal infections. PMNs possess a diverse arsenal of components to combat microorganisms, including the production of reactive oxygen species and release of degradative enzymes and antimicrobial peptides. Despite numerous PMNs at the site of gonococcal infection, N. gonorrhoeae can be cultured from the PMN-rich exudates of individuals with acute gonorrhea, indicating that some bacteria resist killing by neutrophils. The contribution of PMNs to gonorrheal pathogenesis has been modeled in vivo by human male urethral challenge and murine female genital inoculation and in vitro using isolated primary PMNs or PMN-derived cell lines. These systems reveal that some gonococci survive and replicate within PMNs and suggest that gonococci defend themselves against PMNs in two ways: they express virulence factors that defend against PMNs' oxidative and non-oxidative antimicrobial components, and they modulate the ability of PMNs to phagocytose gonococci and to release antimicrobial components. In this review, we will highlight the varied and complementary approaches used by N. gonorrhoeae to resist clearance by human PMNs, with an emphasis on gonococcal gene products that modulate bacterial-PMN interactions. Understanding how some gonococci survive exposure to PMNs will help guide future initiatives for combating gonorrheal disease.
Neisseria Gonorrhoeae Phagosomes Delay Fusion with Primary Granules to Enhance Bacterial Survival Inside Human Neutrophils Cellular Microbiology. Aug, 2013 | Pubmed ID: 23374609 Symptomatic infection with Neisseria gonorrhoeae (Gc) promotes inflammation driven by polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMNs, neutrophils), yet some Gc survive PMN exposure during infection. Here we report a novel mechanism of gonococcal resistance to PMNs: Gc phagosomes avoid maturation into phagolysosomes by delayed fusion with primary (azurophilic) granules, which contain antimicrobial components including serine proteases. Reduced phagosome-primary granule fusion was observed in gonorrheal exudates and human PMNs infected ex vivo. Delayed phagosome-granule fusion could be overcome by opsonizing Gc with immunoglobulin. Using bacterial viability dyes along with antibodies to primary granules revealed that Gc survival in PMNs correlated with early residence in primary granule-negative phagosomes. However, when Gc was killed prior to PMN exposure, dead bacteria were also found in primary granule-negative phagosomes. These results suggest that Gc surface characteristics, rather than active bacterial processes, influence phagosome maturation and that Gc death inside PMNs occurs after phagosome-granule fusion. Ectopically increasing primary granule-phagosome fusion, by immunoglobulin opsonization or PMN treatment with lysophosphatidylcholine, reduced intracellular Gc viability, which was attributed in part to serine protease activity. We conclude that one method for Gc to avoid PMN clearance in acute gonorrhoea is by delaying primary granule-phagosome fusion, thus preventing formation of a degradative phagolysosome.