However, the mode of L. monocytogenes interactions with unicellular eukaryotes is less clear
compared to its interactions with mammalian cells [1, 11, 12]. The cholesterol-dependent pore-forming haemolysin listeriolysin O (LLO) plays a major role in L. monocytogenes virulence for NVP-LDE225 mammals (for a review see [13, 14]. LLO is required for the mammalian host phagosome disruption and bacterial escape into the cytoplasm where L. monocytogenes multiplies . In contrast L. monocytogenes lacking the LLO-encoding hly gene are not capable of proliferating in mammalian cells and hence click here are avirulent in murine model . Besides its role in pathogen’s intracellular replication, LLO can cause apoptosis in dendritic cells and lymphocytes during first days of infection in mice [17, 18]. LLO expression is driven by the transcriptional regulator PrfA . PrfA activity is lowest in rich medium such as Brain Heart Infusion at room temperature and increases with temperature or upon a shift into minimal medium. Mutations that lock PrfA in constitutively active conformation (PrfA*) cause LLO hyperexpression . LLO is thought to be involved in the interactions between L. monocytogenes
and protozoa as LLO-dependent release from digestive vacuole JNK-IN-8 in vivo was observed in the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii . However, the function of LLO in the interactions of L. monocytogenes with bacteriovorous protozoa is not fully understood. In this study, we examined the involvement of LLO in the interactions of L. monocytogenes Demeclocycline and the ciliate Tetrahymena pyriformis. The ciliates are common in the
environment where L. monocytogenes encounters including soil, natural and anthropogenic water sources, sewage and sludge [20, 21]. The majority of ciliates are bacteriovorous. Like other ciliates, T. pyriformis ingests food particles via the oral zone called a cytostome followed by formation of a food vacuole . The vacuole circulates through the cytoplasm until the food is digested. T. pyriformis can undergo encystment, a protozoan response to adverse conditions and culture aging . Encystment is accompanied by formation of resting non-feeding particles, cysts, which possess a protecting cell wall that preserves the cytoplasm . T. pyriformis produces cysts at food deficiency, temperature changes, adverse pH and osmotic pressure . The process of encystment is reversible as trophozoites can recover from cysts in favourable conditions. We found that LLO production favours L. monocytogenes survival in association with T. pyriformis. Moreover, we have shown that T. pyriformis encystment is accelerated in co-culture with L. monocytogenes owing to LLO. In addition bacteria entrapped in cysts maintained viability and are capable of inducing infection in guinea pigs. Results A microscopic study of interactions between L. monocytogenes and T. pyriformis The interactions between L. monocytogenes and T. pyriformis was studied by mixing T.