Phagocytosis of microbial particles is an important part of the innate (immediate) immune response. It is a rapid process, and the effect of natural products on enhancing this cellular function is often almost immediate.

NIS Labs performs testing of phagocytosis, using freshly purified peripheral blood mononuclear cells, which are pretreated with test products, and then introduced to fluorescent micro-particles mimicking bacteria. The cells are allowed to ingest particles, after which free micro-particles are removed by centrifugation. The fluorescence intensity of phagocytic cells is then evaluated by flow cytometry. The analysis is performed at two levels:

  • Proportion of monocytes engaged in phagocytosis;
  • Among the cells that engaged in phagocytosis, the fluorescence intensity is measured.

The treatment with test products may result in more phagocytic cells deciding to engage in phagocytosis, and may also lead to a faster or stronger rate of phagocytosis, resulting in a higher number of fluorescent micro-particles per cell.