Human oral keratinocytes: A model system to analyze host–pathogen interactions

Torsten Wöllert, Christiane Rollenhagen, George M. Langford, Paula Sundstrom

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

9 Scopus citations


Host–pathogen interactions are complex and dynamic processes that result in a variety of responses. The ability of the host to respond appropriately to the presence of a microbial agent defines the outcome of these interactions. Fungal infections are a problem of growing clinical importance and are responsible for serious health problems in multimorbid patients. Different model systems, including primary cells and cell lines derived from different tissues, are used to study several processes that contribute to the virulence of pathogenic fungi. In this chapter, we describe an in vitro assay to characterize the response of human oral keratinocytes (OKF6/TERT-2) to the presence of the human pathogenic fungus, Candida albicans. The dynamic cellular changes such as expression of differentiation markers can be monitored by epifluorescence deconvolution microscopy. Analyses of immunofluorescence data by linescan analysis and fluorescence intensity measurements are described to identify changes in protein expression levels. The use of this in vitro model system will also provide new information about host cell behavior and identify potential drug targets in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHost-Fungus Interactions
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Protocols
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781617795381
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • Candida albicans
  • Differentiation markers
  • Fluorescence intensity
  • Immunofluorescence
  • Keratinocytes
  • Linescan analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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