Attachment of Mycoplasma pneumoniae to respiratory epithelium

Dwight A. Powell, Ping C. Hu, Marion Wilson, Albert M. Collier, Joel B. Baseman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The attachment of radioisotope labeled Mycoplasma pneumoniae to hamster tracheal rings in organ culture was examined by radioautography and liquid scintillation counting. Radioautographs of individual rings exposed for 8 hr to [H3]thymidine labeled virulent M. pneumoniae revealed a dense extracellular collection of emulsion grains along the luminal surface of epithelial cells. Similar exposure of rings to isotope labeled avirulent M. pneumoniae resulted not in any accumulation of emulsion grains. The numbers of attached virulent mycoplasmas, as measured by liquid scintillation counting of infected rings, increased in a nearly linear fashion over an 8 hr incubation period. Viability of the mycoplasmas and metabolic integrity of the tracheal rings were important for optimal attachment. Pretreatment of rings with neuraminidase or sodium periodate significantly impaired organism adherence. These data suggest a specificity of interaction between virulent M. pneumoniae and tracheal epithelial cells that can be further examined through the use of isotopically labeled mycoplasmas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-966
Number of pages8
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Attachment of Mycoplasma pneumoniae to respiratory epithelium'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this