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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2006 Dec 15;217(3):342-51. Epub 2006 Sep 30.

Co-cultivation of Streptomyces californicus and Stachybotrys chartarum stimulates the production of cytostatic compound(s) with immunotoxic properties.

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  • 1National Public Health Institute, Department of Environmental Health, P.O. Box 95, FI-70701 Kuopio, Finland.


We have recently shown that the actinobacterium Streptomyces californicus and the fungus Stachybotrys chartarum originating from moisture damaged buildings possess both immunotoxic and immunostimulatory characteristics, which are synergistically potentiated by microbial interaction. In the search for the causative agent(s) behind the immunotoxicity, the cytostatic effects of the co-cultivated spores of S. californicus and S. chartarum were compared to those caused by widely used cytostatic agents produced by streptomycetes. The RAW264.7 macrophages were exposed to four doses of doxorubicin (DOX), actinomycin D (AMD), mitomycin C (MMC) or phleomycin (PHLEO) for 24 h. Kinetics of the spores of the co-cultivated and the separately cultivated microbes (1x10(6) spores/ml) was compared to DOX (0.15 muM). Apoptotic responses were analyzed by measuring DNA content and mitochondria membrane depolarization with flow cytometer, and by the fluorometric caspase-3 assay. The present data indicate that interactions during co-cultivation of S. californicus and S. chartarum stimulate the production of an unidentified cytostatic compound(s) capable of inducing mitochondria mediated apoptosis and cell cycle arrest at S-G(2)/M. The spores of co-cultivated microbes caused a 4-fold collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential and an almost 6-fold caspase-3 activation and DNA fragmentation when compared to control. Similar responses were induced by DNA cleaving compounds, especially DOX and AMD, at the relatively low concentrations, but not the spores of the same microbes when they were grown separately. These data suggest that when growing in the same habitat, interactions between S. californicus and S. chartarum stimulates the production of an unknown cytostatic compound(s) which evoke immunotoxic effects similar to those by chemotherapeutic drugs.

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