Open Access

Cytokine Levels in the In Vitro Response of T Cells to Planktonic and Biofilm Corynebacterium amycolatum


Unravelling of the interplay between the immune system and non-diphtheria corynebacteria would contribute to understanding their increasing role as medically important microorganisms. We aimed at the analysis of pro- (TNF, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and IL-12p70) and anti-inflammatory (IL-10) cytokines produced by Jurkat T cells in response to planktonic and biofilm Corynebacterium amycolatum. Two reference strains: C. amycolatum ATCC 700207 (R-CA), Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 (R-SA), and ten clinical strains of C. amycolatum (C-CA) were used in the study. Jurkat T cells were stimulated in vitro by the planktonic-conditioned medium (PCM) and biofilm-conditioned medium (BCM) derived from the relevant cultures of the strains tested. The cytokine concentrations were determined in the cell culture supernatants using the flow cytometry. The levels of the cytokines analyzed were lower after stimulation with the BCM when compared to the PCM derived from the cultures of C-CA; statistical significance (p < 0.05) was observed for IL-1β, IL-12 p70, and IL-10. Similarly, planktonic R-CA and R-SA stimulated a higher cytokine production than their biofilm counterparts. The highest levels of pro-inflammatory IL-8, IL-1β, and IL-12p70 were observed after stimulation with planktonic R-SA whereas the strongest stimulation of anti-inflammatory IL-10 was noted for the BCM derived from the mixed culture of both reference species. Our results are indicative of weaker immunostimulatory properties of the biofilm C. amycolatum compared to its planktonic form. It may play a role in the persistence of biofilm-related infections. The extent of the cytokine response can be dependent on the inherent virulence of the infecting microorganism.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Microbiology and Virology