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Journal Articles Microbes and Infection Year : 2001

Pseudomonas fluorescens as a potential pathogen: adherence to nerve cells


In order to determine the infectious potential of the psychrotrophic bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens, a species closely related to the opportunistic pathogen P. aeruginosa, we investigated the binding activity of this bacterium on primary cultures of rat neonate cortical neurons and glial cells, adrenal paraneurons and NG108-15 neuroblastoma cells. Incubated at concentrations of 106 and 108 CFU/mL, P. fluorescens MF37 exhibited a high binding activity on neurons in the same range as that of P. aeruginosa PAO1. A significant, but lower, adherence of P. fluorescens was also detected on glial cells and adrenal paraneurons. In contrast, when P. fluorescens MF37 or P. aeruginosa PAO1 were incubated with neuroblastoma cells, no binding was observed. In neurons, the association of P. fluorescens with the plasma membrane occurred both on neurites and cell body. Leakage of the cytoplasmic content was frequently noted. Studies performed using the fluorescent probe Hoechst 33258 revealed that in 10% of neurons, P. fluorescens induced the appearance of densely stained clusters of DNA that was typical of an early step of apoptosis. In glial cells exposed to P. fluorescens, marked changes in the morphology of the nucleus, including fragmentation into lobular structures and aggregation of DNA, were also reminiscent of the existence of a possible apoptotic mechanism. Taken together, these results reveal that P. fluorescens can bind to nerve cells and affect their physiology and, in agreement with recent clinical observations, suggest that P. fluorescens could behave as a pathogen.

Dates and versions

hal-02372797 , version 1 (20-11-2019)



Laurent Picot, Sana Mezghani Abdelmoula, Annabelle Mérieau, Philippe Leroux, Lionel Cazin, et al.. Pseudomonas fluorescens as a potential pathogen: adherence to nerve cells. Microbes and Infection, 2001, 3 (12), pp.985-995. ⟨10.1016/s1286-4579(01)01462-9⟩. ⟨hal-02372797⟩
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