β-Endorphin enhances the phospholipase activity of the dandruff causing fungiMalassezia globosaandMalassezia restricta

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Abstract

β-Endorphin is known to stimulate phospholipase production by Malassezia pachydermatis during canine dermatoses. The role of β-endorphin in Malassezia infection in humans is not well studied. The present study compares the influence of β-endorphin on Malassezia globosa and Malassezia restricta isolated from patients with seborrhoeic dermatitis/dandruff (SD/D) and healthy controls. Malassezia isolates (five each of the two species from patients and healthy controls) were grown on modified Dixon's agar with or without 100 nmol/L β-endorphin. Phospholipase activity was quantified based on its ability to hydrolyze L-α-phosphatidylcholine dimyristoyl (phospholipid substrate). Free fatty acid was measured by a colorimetry method. In isolates from patients, the phospholipase activity significantly increased after exposure to β-endorphin (M. globosa, P = .04; M. restricta, P = .001), which did not occur in isolates from healthy controls. Moreover, after β-endorphin exposure the patient isolates had significantly higher (P = .0004) phospholipase activity compared to the healthy control isolates. The results suggest that isolates of M. globosa and M. restricta from patients may differ from those of healthy humans.

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