UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 Is Attracted to Bovine Bile in a Novel, Cystic Fibrosis-Derived Bronchial Epithelial Cell Model Behroozian, Shekooh; Sampedro, Inmaculada; Dhodary, Basanta; Her, Stephanie; Yu, Qianru; Stanton, Bruce A.; Hill, Jane E.


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-threatening, inherited, multi-organ disease that renders patients susceptible throughout their lives to chronic and ultimately deteriorating protracted pulmonary infections. Those infections are dominated in adulthood by the opportunistic pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa). As with other advancing respiratory illnesses, people with CF (pwCF) also frequently suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), including bile aspiration into the lung. GERD is a major co-morbidity factor in pwCF, with a reported prevalence of 35–81% in affected individuals. Bile is associated with the early acquisition of Pa in CF patients and in vitro studies show that it causes Pa to adopt a chronic lifestyle. We hypothesized that Pa is chemoattracted to bile in the lung environment. To evaluate, we developed a novel chemotaxis experimental system mimicking the lung environment using CF-derived bronchial epithelial (CFBE) cells which allowed for the evaluation of Pa (strain PAO1) chemotaxis in a physiological scenario superior to the standard in vitro systems. We performed qualitative and quantitative chemotaxis tests using this new experimental system, and microcapillary assays to demonstrate that bovine bile is a chemoattractant for Pa and is positively correlated with bile concentration. These results further buttress the hypothesis that bile likely contributes to the colonization and pathogenesis of Pa in the lung, particularly in pwCF.

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