Tissue microenvironment initiates an immune response to structural components of Staphylococcus aureus

Exp Dermatol. 2019 Feb;28(2):161-168. doi: 10.1111/exd.13864.


Cell-to-cell communication in skin participates to the maintenance of homeostatic responses to foreign substances. Certain strains of Staphylococcus (S) aureus are vicious pathogens that cause deleterious effects in host cells and tissues. Both secreted toxins and structural components of S. aureus trigger an immune response, though how S. aureus stimulates host immune responses is poorly understood. We explored here how keratinocytes and fibroblasts initiate the first steps of an immune response by activating dendritic cells (DCs) through recognition of structural components of S. aureus. We treated monocyte-derived Langerhans cells (moLCs) and monocyte-derived DCs (moDCs) with conditioned media from keratinocytes (K-CM) and fibroblasts (F-CM) treated with heat-killed S. aureus (HKSA) respectively, or directly with HKSA. Immune and inflammatory responses from keratinocytes, fibroblasts, moLCs and moDCs were assessed by analysis of cell surface markers and cytokine production using flow cytometry, real-time PCR and ELISA assays. K-CM and F-CM increased the expression of CD86 and HLA-DR on moLCs and moDCs, in association with a specific cytokine profile. K-CM upregulated TNFA, IL-1B and GM-CSF mRNA expression in moLCs, while F-CM upregulated IL-12 and downregulated TNFA and TGFB mRNA expression in moDCs. Additionally, F-CM attenuated the induction of an inflammatory profile in monocytes. The recognition of structural components from S. aureus by cutaneous microenvironment induces the activation and the expression of specific cytokines from LCs and DCs.

Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus; dendritic cells; inflammation; microenvironment; structural components.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Communication
  • Culture Media, Conditioned / pharmacology
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Fibroblasts / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immune System
  • Inflammation
  • Keratinocytes / immunology
  • Langerhans Cells / immunology
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Phenotype
  • Skin / immunology*
  • Skin / microbiology*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / immunology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Up-Regulation


  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Cytokines