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Neutrophils Research Paper

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One of the unexpected roles of neutrophils is phagocytosis of mycobacterium infected macrophages. This role in mycobacteria infection was studied using zebra fish larvae infected with Mycobacterium marinum. Zebrafish were used because their larvae are optically transparent, so fluorescently labeled neutrophils could be seen in vivo. This study found that neutrophils, though present at the site of infection, do not interact with the mycobacteria during the initial infection, by labeling the mycobacteria and finding no infected neutrophils or neutrophils that had phagocytosed the mycobacteria. However, neutrophils do get infected with the mycobacterium, but that is only after macrophages have established a granuloma and have begun to die that the neutrophils are recruited and then infected after phagocytosing infected macrophages. …show more content…
The study found that it is in fact the dying macrophages that recruit the neutrophils by blocking apoptosis in macrophages (by using fish that lacked the gene for ESAT-6) which lead to a 4.5-fold reduction in the number of neutrophils recruited and a 5.2-fold reduction in the number of neutrophils infected. After phagocytosing the infected macrophages, some neutrophils can then kill the mycobacteria using oxidative mechanisms. Fluorescently labeled mycobacteria were observed in infected macrophages and neutrophils, and by measuring the level of fluorescence, the mycobacteria could be seen moving from the macrophages to the neutrophils and then being digested. To test if this was through oxidative methods, fish whose neutrophils lacked important subunits of NADPH oxidase were infected, and these fish were seen to have much lower levels of internalized mycobacteria being killed in

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