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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Propionibacterium acnes infection induces upregulation of inflammatory genes and cytokine secretion in prostate epithelial cells

Johanna B Drott12, Oleg Alexeyev1, Patrik Bergström1, Fredrik Elgh12 and Jan Olsson12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical Microbiology/Virology, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden

2 Department of Clinical Medicine, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, SE-701 82 Örebro, Sweden

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BMC Microbiology 2010, 10:126  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-10-126

Published: 26 April 2010

Abstract

Background

The immune stimulating bacterium Propionibacterium acnes is a frequent colonizer of benign and malignant prostate tissue. To understand the pathogenesis of the earliest phase of this infection, we examined the P. acnes triggered immune response in cultivated prostate epithelial cells.

Results

Prostate epithelial cells are triggered to secrete IL-6, IL-8 and GM-CSF when infected with P. acnes. The secretion of cytokines is accompanied by NFκB related upregulation of the secreted cytokines as well as several components of the TLR2-NFκB signaling pathway.

Conclusions

P. acnes has potential to trigger a strong immune reaction in the prostate glandular epithelium. Upon infection of prostate via the retrograde urethral route, the induced inflammatory reaction might facilitate bacterial colonization deeper in the prostate tissue where persistent inflammation may impact the development of prostate diseases as hyperplasia and/or malignancy.