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Br J Dermatol. 2005 Jul;153(1):66-71.

Induction of a chemoattractive proinflammatory cytokine response after stimulation of keratinocytes with Propionibacterium acnes and coproporphyrin III.

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Department of Dermatology and Allergology, University of Munich, Germany.



The inflammation in acne vulgaris is widely thought to be induced by an immunological reaction, but the role of Propionibacterium acnes is unclear.


To examine the local host response mechanism of a keratinocyte cell line 3 h and 6 h after stimulation with viable and heat-killed P. acnes.


The quantitative expression of cytokines was measured at the mRNA level by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.


The coincubation of a keratinocyte cell line with viable, but not heat-killed, P. acnes modulated an adequate cytokine response for interleukin (IL)-1beta, granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor and IL-8. High-performance liquid chromatographic analysis of the in vivo porphyrin pattern secreted by P. acnes revealed a predominance of coproporphyrin III in acne lesions. This same porphyrin fraction also modestly induced IL-8 expression by keratinocytes.


This cytokine pattern may favour a chemotactic response and implicates P. acnes and coproporphyrin III in the recruitment of inflammatory cells to the site of infection and in the development of acne lesions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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