Article

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 90, Issue 1, pp 93-108

First online:

The production of a new extracellular putative long-chain saturated polyester by smooth variants of Mycobacterium vaccae interferes with Th1-cytokine production

  • Elisabeth Rodríguez-GüellAffiliated withDepartament de Genètica i de Microbiologia, Facultat de Ciències, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • , Gemma AgustíAffiliated withDepartament de Genètica i de Microbiologia, Facultat de Ciències, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • , Mercè CorominasAffiliated withServei d’Immunologia-Al·lèrgia, Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge
  • , Pere-Joan CardonaAffiliated withUnitat de Tuberculosi Experimental, Fundació Institut per a la Investigació en Ciències de la Salut Germans Trias i Pujol
  • , Isidre CasalsAffiliated withServeis Cientificotècnics, Universitat de Barcelona
  • , Teodor ParellaAffiliated withServei de Ressonància Magnètica Nuclear, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • , Marco-Antonio SempereAffiliated withHospital Costa del Sol
  • , Marina LuquinAffiliated withDepartament de Genètica i de Microbiologia, Facultat de Ciències, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Email author 
  • , Esther JuliánAffiliated withDepartament de Genètica i de Microbiologia, Facultat de Ciències, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Email author 

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Abstract

Mycobacterium vaccae is of major pharmaceutical interest as an immunotherapeutic agent. Although M. vaccae 15483 ATCCT strain displays smooth and rough colonial morphologies on solid culture media, it is not known in which conditions M. vaccae switches from one colonial morphotype to the other or whether there are biological differences, especially immunological, between them. We have found that the change from a smooth to rough stable variant occurs spontaneously at 30 °C. The analysis of the composition of the cell wall in both variants showed that the smooth morphotype presents an extracellular material that has never previously been described and was identified as a long-chain saturated polyester that, interestingly, is not produced by the rough morphotype. Our results also indicate that this compound could be implicated in the spreading ability of smooth colonies. Proliferation, IFN-\(\upgamma\) and IL-12(p40) production by splenocyte cultures was significantly higher in mice immunised with the rough variant compared with those immunised with the smooth one. This latter finding suggests that the different colonial morphology of M. vaccae may affect the immunomodulatory effects induced from M. vaccae preparations.

Keywords

Colony morphology Exopolymer IFN-\(\upgamma\) Long-chain saturated polyester Mycobacterium vaccae