Bacteroides fragilis interferes with iNOS activity and leads to pore formation in macrophage surface

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Jan 21;326(3):607-13. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2004.11.085.


Bacteroides fragilis is the anaerobe most commonly recoverable from clinical specimens. The wide genetic diversity of this bacterium related with virulence potential is still an open question. In this study, we analyzed the morphological aspects and microbicide action of MØ during interactions with B. fragilis. A filamentous cytoplasm content release and a different actin organization colocalized with iNOS were detected. It was also possible to observe the reduction of NO production in the same conditions. The scanning electron microscopy showed the formation of pore-like structures in the surface of macrophages in the bacterial presence and by transmission electron microscopy we could observe the extrusion of cytoplasm contents as well as the condensation of chromatin in the nucleus periphery. These data suggest the existence of an inhibitory mechanism developed by B. fragilis strains for one of the macrophage microbicide actions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Bacteroides Infections / metabolism*
  • Bacteroides fragilis / metabolism*
  • Bacteroides fragilis / pathogenicity
  • Macrophages, Peritoneal / enzymology
  • Macrophages, Peritoneal / metabolism*
  • Macrophages, Peritoneal / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Microscopy, Phase-Contrast
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II


  • Actins
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Nos2 protein, mouse