3D skin model to study bacteria-host interactions

Straticell, a Belgian provider of in vitro efficacy testing for dermato-cosmetic products, explains how it has developed a new 3D model to study the interactions between the skin and its flora, by colonizing reconstructed human epidermis with microorganisms of interest

While it was long thought that acne was due to the presence of a bacterium named at this time Propionibacterium acnes, it is now admitted that the development of acne spots is related to an imbalance in the phylotypes (phylogenetically related individuals) of this bacterium now renamed Cutibacterium acnes.  

The pathophysiology of acne is indeed the result of an increase in the IA1 phylotype of C. acnes, in sebum-rich areas.1 The hyperseborrhea combined to the hyperkeratinization form a lipid-rich anaerobic environment that favours the growth of C. acnes. 2

Additionally, acne-prone skins also display an overexpression of genes encoding proinfl ammatory molecules such as interleukin 8 (IL-8, encoded by the CXCL-8 gene) and interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β, encoded by the IL1B gene), as well as antimicrobial peptides like the human β-defensin 2 (hBD2, encoded by the DEFB4 gene).2,3

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