Cationic Polyelectrolytes and Leukocyte Factors Function as Opsonins, Triggers of Chemiluminescence and Activators of Autolytic Enzymes in Bacteria: Modulation by Anionic Polyelectrolytes in Relation to Inflammation

  • Isaac Ginsburg
  • Meir Lahav
  • Mina Ferne
  • Sybille Müller
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 155)


Both antibodies and complement components are essential for successful phagocytosis of many virulent microorganisms (1,2). Although the mechanisms by which opsonins promote particle uptake are not fully understood, it has been suggested that both electrostatic and hydrophobic forces act in concert with specific receptors for Fc and C3b to facilitate interiorization of particles (2,3). In the case of group A streptococci, opsonization by immunoglobulins abolishes the anti-phagocytic properties of the M-antigen (4,5). Since one mechanism by which opsonins may act is to decrease repulsion forces between negative charges present on the surface of the particle and phagocyte, cationic ligands may function as effective opsonins (6–11). In addition, cationic substances may participate in bacteriolysis. We recently suggested (11) that the breakdown of bacterial cells following phagocytosis is mediated indirectly by leukocyte cationic proteins and phospholipases which activate autolytic enzymes and not by lysosomal enzymes directly.


Hyaluronic Acid Candida Albicans Hank Balance Salt Solution Cationic Polyelectrolyte Chemiluminescent Reaction 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isaac Ginsburg
    • 1
  • Meir Lahav
    • 1
  • Mina Ferne
    • 2
  • Sybille Müller
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Oral BiologyHebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental MedicineIsrael
  2. 2.The Streptococcus Reference LaboratoryGovernment Laboratories, Ministry of HealthJerusalemIsrael
  3. 3.The Robert Koch InstituteBerlinWest Germany

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