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Infect Immun. 2015 Oct;83(10):3960-71. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00510-15. Epub 2015 Jul 27.

Propionibacterium acnes Recovered from Atherosclerotic Human Carotid Arteries Undergoes Biofilm Dispersion and Releases Lipolytic and Proteolytic Enzymes in Response to Norepinephrine Challenge In Vitro.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Sciences and Binghamton Biofilm Research Center, Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York, USA.
2
Department of Biological Sciences and Binghamton Biofilm Research Center, Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York, USA dgdavies@binghamton.edu.

Abstract

In the present study, human atherosclerotic carotid arteries were examined following endarterectomy for the presence of the Gram-positive bacterium Propionibacterium acnes and its potential association with biofilm structures within the arterial wall. The P. acnes 16S rRNA gene was detectable in 4 of 15 carotid artery samples, and viable P. acnes was one among 10 different bacterial species recoverable in culture. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis of 5 additional atherosclerotic carotid arteries demonstrated biofilm bacteria within all samples, with P. acnes detectable in 4 samples. We also demonstrated that laboratory-grown cultures of P. acnes biofilms were susceptible to induction of a biofilm dispersion response when challenged with physiologically relevant levels of norepinephrine in the presence of iron-bound transferrin or with free iron. The production and release of lipolytic and proteolytic extracellular enzymes by P. acnes were shown to increase in iron-induced dispersed biofilms, and these dispersion-induced P. acnes VP1 biofilms showed increased expression of mRNAs for the triacylglycerol lipases PPA2105 and PPA1796 and the hyaluronate lyase PPA380 compared to that in untreated biofilms. These results demonstrate that P. acnes can infect the carotid arteries of humans with atherosclerosis as a component of multispecies biofilms and that dispersion is inducible for this organism, at least in vitro, with physiologically relevant levels of norepinephrine resulting in the production and release of degradative enzymes.

PMID:
26216428
PMCID:
PMC4567629
DOI:
10.1128/IAI.00510-15
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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