Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes) is one of the most prevalent bacteria that forms the human skin microbiota. Specific phylotypes of C. acnes have been associated with the development of acne vulgaris, while other phylotypes have been linked to healthy skin. In this scenario, bacterial extracellular vesicles (EVs) play a role in the interkingdom communication role with the human host. Researchers at Universitat Pompeu Fabra examined the impact of EVs generated by various phylotypes of C. acnes on inflammation and sebum production using different in vitro skin cell types. The main findings of this study reveal that the proteomic profile of the cargo embodied in the EVs reflects distinct characteristics of the different C. acnes phylotypes in terms of life cycle, survival, and virulence. The in vitro skin cell types showed an extended pro-inflammatory modulation of SLST A1 EVs consistently triggering the activation of the inflammation-related factors IL-8, IL-6, TNFα and GM-CSF, in comparison to SLST H1 and SLST H2. Additionally, an acne-prone skin model utilizing PCi-SEB and arachidonic acid as a sebum inducer, was employed to investigate the impact of C. acnes EVs on sebum regulation. These findings indicated that all three types of EVs significantly inhibited sebum production after a 24-h treatment period, with SLST H1 EVs exhibiting the most pronounced inhibitory effect when compared to the positive control. The results of this study highlight the protective nature of C. acnes SLST H1 EVs and their potential use as a natural treatment option for alleviating symptoms associated with inflammation and oily skin.
EVs isolation protocol and in vitro experimental design
(A) Process to isolate C. acnes-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs). (B) Schematic presentation of the different skin in vitro cell types: HaCaT cell line, SZ95 cell line, Jurkat cell line and the acne-prone skin model with PCi-SEB cells using AA to induce sebum production.