Pyocyanin pigment from Pseudomonas aeruginosa modulates innate immune defenses in macrophages
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Background: Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a well-known opportunistic pathogen. The gram-negative bacillus, commonly associated with hospital-acquired infections, utilizes the host's impaired immune responses to establish infection. Of its many virulence factors, pyocyanin is essential for P. aeruginosa to establish its full infectivity. Macrophages act as sentinels of the innate immune system, as well as play other roles in homeostasis, tissue remodeling, and bridging between the innate and adaptive immune systems. Aim: This study aimed to investigate the effects of pyocyanin on macrophage innate immune defenses by assessing the function of macrophages treated with pyocyanin and TLR ligands. Phagocytosis of opsonized zymosan, LPS-induced nitric oxide release and cytokine release were used as measures of functional responses. Results: This study found that pyocyanin inhibited phagocytosis-induced ROS release in a dose-dependent manner and reduced nitric oxide release from macrophages induced with P. aeruginosa LPS. In addition, pyocyanin modulated cytokines and chemokines release from macrophages exposed to P. aeruginosa LPS in a dose-dependent manner. Pyocyanin significantly enhanced IL-1? release as well as several chemokines. Therefore, pyocyanin facilitates Pseudomonas aeruginosa to persevere in the immunocompromised host through modulating macrophage's innate immune defenses. Conclusion: Pyocyanin inhibits macrophage functional defense responses to facilitate Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection.