Quorum Sensing pp 147-157 | Cite as

Imaging N-Acyl Homoserine Lactone Quorum Sensing In Vivo

  • Louise Dahl Christensen
  • Maria van Gennip
  • Tim Holm Jakobsen
  • Michael Givskov
  • Thomas BjarnsholtEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 692)


In order to study N-acyl homoserine lactone (AHL)-based quorum sensing in vivo, we present a protocol using an Escherichia coli strain equipped with a luxR-based monitor system, which in the presence of exogenous AHL molecules expresses a green fluorescent protein (GFP). Lungs from mice challenged intratracheally with alginate beads containing both a P. aeruginosa strain together with the E. coli monitor strain can be investigated at different time points postinfection. Epifluorescent or confocal scanning laser microscopy (CSLM) is used to detect the GFP-expressing E. coli monitor strain in the lung tissues, indicating production and excretion of AHLs in vivo by the infecting P. aeruginosa.

Key words

Quorum sensing Pseudomonas aeruginosa Pulmonary infection model Epifluorescence microscopy CSLM In vivo 



We acknowledge the contributions made by Drs. Morten Hentzer, Hong Wu, Thomas Bovbjerg Rasmussen, Jens Bo Andersen, and Allan Bech Christensen with regard to the initial developments of the model systems.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louise Dahl Christensen
    • 1
  • Maria van Gennip
    • 1
  • Tim Holm Jakobsen
    • 1
  • Michael Givskov
    • 1
  • Thomas Bjarnsholt
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of International Health, Immunology, and Microbiology, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Clinical MicrobiologyRigshospitaletCopenhagenDenmark

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