Apoptotic cell death induced by Acinetobacter baumannii in epithelial cells through caspase-3 activation
Epithelial cell death induced by Acinetobacter baumannii infection was investigated using in vitro assays. Eight hours after live A. baumannii infection, HeLa cells exhibited detachment from the dish, rounding morphologies, high proportions of trypan blue-positive cells and extensive DNA breakdown with faint apoptotic banding, which is indicative of cells undergoing apoptosis. The enzymatic activity of caspase-3 was increased in cells as early as 2 h after infection. In addition, apoptosis of HeLa cells was induced by treatment with bacterial culture filtrates but not with formalin-killed bacteria. These results indicate that A. baumannii infection triggers apoptosis in HeLa cells through caspase-3 activation.
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