Development of an Evaluation Device for Phagocytic Activity of New Phagocytes Using Simple and pH-sensitive Particles that Do Not Require Pre-treatment

Anticancer Res. 2016 Jul;36(7):3613-8.


Background/aim: Phagocytic activity is affected by a number of different stress and age-dependent factors. An easy measurement of phagocytic activity is thought to allow an indicator of an individual's health. In this study, we investigated conditions of measurement to easily evaluate the activity of phagocytosis of phagocytic cells (macrophages and neutrophils) using an easy-to-use prototype, which was improved from the device by Hamamatsu Photonics K.K., to detect neutrophil activity using subtle fluorescence.

Materials and methods: pH-sensitive fluorescent particles (pHrodo-Green E. coli Bio particles, GE particles) were added to mouse-derived macrophage cell lines (J774.1) and then incubated for 2 h at 37°C. For negative control, the phagocytosis inhibitor cytochalasin D (CyD), was added prior to culture. Next, fluorescence intensity was measured by the Prototype to evaluate the phagocytic activity of macrophages and neutrophils. Phagocytosis was also confirmed by flow cytometry.

Results: The Prototype detected a steady fluorescence increase in 5 sec in J774.1 after phagocytosis, using GE particles as a negative control in the presence of CyD. Furthermore, detection was possible at 10(4) cells/test, a concentration where the flow cytometer had difficulty for detection.

Conclusion: The Prototype enables measurement of the phagocytic activity within a short period of time, even with a small sample amount, thus establishing the basic conditions of measurements of phagocytosis.

Keywords: Macrophages; pH-sensitive fluorescent particle; phagocytosis.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Macrophage Activation
  • Macrophage-Activating Factors / pharmacology*
  • Macrophage-Activating Factors / physiology
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / physiology*
  • Phagocytosis
  • U937 Cells


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Macrophage-Activating Factors