Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

The effect of leukocyte hydrolases on bacteria

IV. The role played by artificial enzyme “cocktails” and tissue enzymes in bacteriolysis


Acid hydrolases of human blood leukocytes are highly lytic toStaph. albus, Staph. aureus, andStrep. faecalis. On the other hand, group A and viridans streptococci, encapsulated staphylococci, a variety of Gramnegative rods, andMyc. smegmatis are highly resistant to lysis by leukocyte extracts. The lytic effect of the leukocyte extracts can be mimicked by an artificial “cocktail” which contains crude trypsin, lysolecithin, phospholipase C, and lysozyme. This enzyme mixture is lytic to certain Gram-negative bacteria and encapsulated staphylococci which are resistant to lysis by leukocyte enzymes. Both the leukocyte lysates and the artificial cocktail are more lytic to bacteria harvested from the logarithmic phase of growth than to older cells.Staph. albus andStrep. faecalis, which are not lysed to any appreciable extent by extracts of rabbit intestines, lymphocytes, and platelets, undergo extensive lysis upon the addition of lysozyme, indicating that these cells contain preparatory prolytic agents which are activated by lysozyme. On the other hand, the lysis ofStaph. aureus by extracts of all these cells is less dependent upon lysozyme, indicating that other non-lysozyme-dependent lytic factors are involved in the lysis of this microorganism by certain tissue extracts. It is suggested that the resistance to lysis by leukocyte enzymes of bacterial cell-wall constituents may contribute to the pathogenesis of chronic sequellae, and that artificial enzyme cocktails be used for in vivo treatment of certain chronic inflammatory processes induced by bacteria.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    Ginsburg, I., M. Lahav, andN. Ne'eman. 1973. The effect of anionic and cationic polyelectrolytes and antibodies on lysis of bacteria by lysozyme and leukocyte lysates.Israel J. Med. Sci. 9:663.

  2. 2.

    Lahav, M., N. Ne'eman, E. Adler, andI. Ginsburg. 1974. The effect of leukocyte hydrolases on bacteria. I. Degradation of14C-labeled streptococci and staphylococci by leukocyte lysatesin vitro.J. Infect. Dis. 129:528.

  3. 3.

    Ne'eman, N., M. Lahav, andI. Ginsburg. 1974. The effect of leukocyte hydrolases on bacteria. II. The synergistic action of lysozyme and extracts of PMN, macrophages, lymphocytes and platelets in bacteriolysis.Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 146:1137.

  4. 4.

    Ginsburg, I., N. Ne'eman, R. Gallily, andM. Lahav. 1975. Degradation and survival of bacteria in sites of allergic inflammation.In Infection and Immunity in the Rheumatic Diseases. D.C. Dumonde, editor. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, England. In press.

  5. 5.

    Ginsburg, I., M.Lahav, N.Ne'eman, and J. M.James. 1974. The inhibition by basic and acidic polyelectrolytes of the degradation of bacteria by leukocyte enzymes: relation to the persistence of microbial constituents in inflammatory sites.In Activation of Macrophages. Second Workshop Conference Hoechst. H. Wagner, editor. Excerpta Medica Publications. 162

  6. 6.

    Lahav, M., N. Ne'eman, J. James, andI. Ginsburg. 1975. The effect of leukocyte hydrolases on bacteria. III. Bacteriolysis induced by extracts of different leukocyte populations and the inhibition of lysis by macromolecular substances.J. Infect. Dis. 131:149.

  7. 7.

    Ohanian, S.H., andJ.H. Schwab. 1967. Persistence of group A streptococcal cell walls related to chronic inflammation of rabbit dermal connective tissue.J. Exp. Med. 125: 1137.

  8. 8.

    Ginsburg, I. 1972. Mechanisms of cell and tissue injury induced by group A streptococci: Relation to poststreptococcal sequelae.J. Infect. Dis. 126:264(Part I);126:419 (Part II).

  9. 9.

    Ginsburg, I., S. Mitrani, N. Ne'eman, andM. Lahav. 1975. Granulomata in streptococcal inflammation: mechanisms of localization, transport and degradation of streptococci in inflammatory sites.In Mononuclear Phagocytes in Immunity Infection and Pathology. R. van Furth, editor. Blackwell Scientific Publication Ltd., Oxford, England. Chap. 64, pp. 1–34.

  10. 10.

    Sela, M., M. Lahav, N. Ne'eman, Z. Duchan, andI. Ginsburg. 1975. The effect of leukocyte hydrolases on bacteria. V. The modification of bacteriolysis by antiinflammatory agents and by cationic and anionic polyelectrolytes.Inflammation 1:57.

  11. 11.

    Lowry, O.H., J.J.R. Rosenbrough, A.C. Farr, andR.J. Randall. 1951. Protein measurement with Folin phenol reagent.J. Biol. Chem. 193:265.

  12. 12.

    Coleman, S.E., I. Van De Rijn, andA.J. Bleiweiss. 1971. Lysis of grouped and ungrouped streptococci by lysozyme.Infect. Immunol. 2:563.

  13. 13.

    Thacore, H., andH.P. Willet. 1963. Formation of spheroplasts ofMycobacterium tuberculosis by lysozyme treatment.Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 114:43.

  14. 14.

    Willet, H.P., andH. Thacore. 1967. The formation of spheroplasts ofMycobacterium tuberculosis by lysozyme in combination with certain enzymes of rabbit peritoneal monocytes.Can. J. Microbiol. 13:481.

  15. 15.

    Dannenberg, A.M. 1968. Cellular hypersensitivity and cellular immunity in the pathogenesis of tuberculosis: specificity, systemic and local nature and associated macrophage enzymes.Bacteriol. Rev. 32:85.

  16. 16.

    McGhee, J.R., andB.A. Freeman. 1970. Effect of lysosomal enzymes on Brucellae.J. Reticuloendothel. Soc. 8:208.

  17. 17.

    Friedberg, D., andM. Shilo. 1970. Interaction of Gram-negative bacteria with the lysosomal fraction of polymorphonuclear leukocytes. I. Role of cell-wall composition ofSalmonella typhymurium.Infect Immunol. 1:305.

  18. 18.

    Glick, A.B., J.M. Ranhand, andR.M. Cole. 1972. Degradation of group A streptococcal cell walls by egg-white lysozyme and human lysosomal enzymes.Infect. Immunol. 6:403.

  19. 19.

    Hirsch, J.G. 1956. Phagocytin: a bactericidal substance from polymorphonuclear leukocytes.J. Exp. Med. 103:589.

  20. 20.

    Zeya, H.I., andJ.K. Spitznagel. 1966. Cationic proteins of polymorphonuclear leukocyte lysosomes. II. Composition, properties and mechanism of antibacterial action.J. Bact. 91:755.

  21. 21.

    Li, W., andS. Mudd. 1966. Serum effect on the killing ofStaphylococcus aureus by human leukocyte extracts.J. Immunol. 97:41.

  22. 22.

    Shayegani, M.G. 1968. Action of lysates of leukocytic granules on Staphylococcal cell walls.J. Infect. Dis. 118:402.

  23. 23.

    Klebanoff, S.J. 1968. Myeloperoxidase-halide-hydrogen peroxide antibacterial system.J. Bacteriol. 95:2131.

  24. 24.

    Page, R.C., P. Davies, andA.C. Allison. 1974. Participation of mononuclear phagocytes in chronic inflammatory diseases.J. Reticuloendothel. Soc. 15:413.

  25. 25.

    Feingold, D.S., J.N. Goldman andA.M. Kuritz. 1968. Locus of action of serum and the role of lysozyme in the serum bactericidal reaction.J. Bacteriol. 96:2118.

  26. 26.

    Glynn, A.A. 1969. The complement lysozyme sequence in immune bacteriolysis.Immunology.16:463.

  27. 27.

    Ghuysen, J.M. 1968. Use of bacteriolytic enzymes in determination of wall structure and their role in cell metabolism.Bacteriol. Rev. 32:425.

  28. 28.

    Sadvik, O., andT. Hoyem. 1969. Inhibitory effect of lysolecithin on bacterial growth.Acta Pathol. Microbiol. Scand. 77:283.

  29. 29.

    Barrett, A.J. 1969. Properties of lysosomal enzymes.In Lysosomes in Biology and Pathology, Vol. 2. J.T. Dingle and H.B. Fell, editors. North Holland Publishing Co. 245.

  30. 30.

    Thines-Sempoux, D. 1968. Les lipides des lysosomes et d'autres constituants subcellulaires. Thesis, University of London. Cited in P.J. Jacques and L. Demoulin-Brahy. 1974. Lysomotropic Triton WR-1339. One method of applied lysosomology for the therapy of exoplasmic parasitoses.In Activation of Macrophages. Second Workshop Conference Hoechst. H. Wagner, H. Hahn and R. Evans, editors. Excerpta Medica, Amsterdam. 84.

  31. 31.

    Davis, S.D., I. Antoinette, andR.J. Wedgwood. 1972. Bactericidal reactions in serum.In Biological Activities of Complement, D.E. Ingram (ed). S. Karger, Basel. 43.

  32. 32.

    Hirsch, J.G. 1958. The bactericidal action of histone.J. Exp. Med. 108:925.

  33. 33.

    Janoff, A., andJ. Blondin. 1973. The effect of human granulocyte elastase on bacterial suspensions.Lab. Invest. 29:454.

  34. 34.

    De Duve, C., andA. Trouet. 1973. Lysosomes and lysosomotropic drugs in hostparasite relationship.In Non-Specific Factors Influencing Host Resistance. W. Braun and E. Ungar, editors. S. Karger, Basel. 153.

Download references

Author information

Additional information

This investigation was supported in part by grants from the Central Research Fund of the Hebrew University and from the Joint Research Fund of the Hebrew University Hadassah School of Dental Medicine founded by the Alpha Omega Fraternity and the Hadassah Medical Organization, by grants from the Chief Scientist, the Ministry of Health, Government of Israel and the Max Bogen Research Fund obtained through the Friends of the Hebrew University in the United States.

Part of this work was performed at the Clinical Research Centre, Harrow, Middlesex, England, under a scholarship from the Nuffield Foundation, London.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ginsburg, I., Neeman, N., Duchan, Z. et al. The effect of leukocyte hydrolases on bacteria. Inflammation 1, 41–56 (1975).

Download citation


  • Lysozyme
  • Logarithmic Phase
  • Enzyme Mixture
  • Chronic Inflammatory Process
  • Enzyme Cocktail