Phagocytosis of bacteria by proximal tubular epithelium in experimental pyelonephritis

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Acute pyelonephritis was induced in rats by temporary unilateral ureteric obstruction and the intravenous injection of Escherichia coli. Animals were sacrificed 48 h after infection and changes in renal cortical tubules due to the presence of bacteria were studied. Bacteria appeared and multiplied in the tubular lumina and proximal tubular epithelial cells endocytosed the microorganisms in large numbers. Coalescence of phagosomes with lysosomes resulted in the surrounding of engulfed bacteria with acid phosphatase. However, the lysosomal apparatus of the cells did not eliminate Escherichia coli since the bacteria multiplied within phagosomes and destroyed the normal cell architecture. The peritubular interstitial inflammatory infiltrate caused ischemia of tubules, enhancing bacterial damage to the proximal tubules. The cytoplasm of the injured tubular cells was sometimes detached from the basement membrane. Cells of the distal tubules and collecting ducts did not show significant endocytosis or bacterial tubular damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-70
Number of pages12
JournalVirchows Archiv B Cell Pathology Including Molecular Pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - dec. 1 1986


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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