Differential effects of planktonic and biofilm MRSA on human fibroblasts

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Bacteria colonizing chronic wounds often exist as biofilms, yet their role in chronic wound pathogenesis remains unclear. Staphylococcus aureus biofilms induce apoptosis in dermal keratinocytes, and given that chronic wound biofilms also colonize dermal tissue, it is important to investigate the effects of bacterial biofilms on dermal fibroblasts. The effects of a predominant wound pathogen, methicillin-resistant S. aureus, on normal, human, dermal fibroblasts were examined in vitro. Cell-culture medium was conditioned with equivalent numbers of either planktonic or biofilm methicillin-resistant S. aureus and then fed to fibroblast cultures. Fibroblast response was evaluated using scratch, viability, and apoptosis assays. The results suggested that fibroblasts experience the same fate when exposed to the soluble products of either planktonic or biofilm methicillin-resistant S. aureus, namely limited migration followed by death. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays demonstrated that fibroblast production of cytokines, growth factors, and proteases were differentially affected by planktonic and biofilm-conditioned medium. Planktonic-conditioned medium induced more interleukin-6, interleukin-8, vascular endothelial growth factor, transforming growth factor-β1, heparin-bound epidermal growth factor, matrix metalloproteinase-1, and metalloproteinase-3 production in fibroblasts than the biofilm-conditioned medium. Biofilm-conditioned medium induced more tumor necrosis factor-α production in fibroblasts compared with planktonic-conditioned medium, and suppressed metalloproteinase-3 production compared with controls.

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