In this study, we evaluated the inhibitory effect of a rice bran mixture extract (RBE) on Brucella abortus pathogenesis in professional (RAW 264.7) and nonprofessional (HeLa) phagocytes. We fermented the rice bran mixture and then extracted it with 50% ethanol followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to identify the components in RBE. Our results clearly showed that RBE caused a significant reduction in the adherence of B. abortus in both cell lines. Furthermore, analysis of phagocytic signaling proteins by western blot assay revealed that RBE pretreatment resulted in inhibition of phosphorylation of JNK, ERK, and p38, leading to decline of internalization compared with the controls. Additionally, the intensity of F-actin observed by fluorescence microscopy and FACS was remarkably reduced in RBE-pretreated cells compared with control cells. However, the intracellular replication of B. abortus within phagocytes was not affected by RBE. Taken together, these findings suggest that the phagocytic receptor blocking and suppressive effects of RBE on the MAPK-linked phagocytic signaling pathway could negatively affect the invasion of B. abortus into phagocytes.
Keywords: B. abortus; pathogenesis; phagocyte; phagocytic signaling; rice bran mixture extract.