Journal Article

Activity of histone H1.2 in infected burn wounds

F. Jacobsen, A. Baraniskin, J. Mertens, D. Mittler, A. Mohammadi-Tabrisi, S. Schubert, M. Soltau, M. Lehnhardt, B. Behnke, S. Gatermann, H. U. Steinau and L. Steinstraesser

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 55, issue 5, pages 735-741
Published in print May 2005 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online May 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jac/dki067
Activity of histone H1.2 in infected burn wounds

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  • Medical Oncology
  • Critical Care

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Objectives: Infections with multidrug-resistant microorganisms (e.g. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus) cause immense complications in wound care and in the treatment of immunosuppressed patients. Like most antimicrobial peptides, histones are relatively small polycationic proteins located in each eukaryotic nucleus, which naturally supercoil DNA. The aim of this study was to investigate the in vitro and in vivo activity of histone H1.2 in infected burn wounds and its potential toxicity.

Methods: To characterize the antimicrobial properties of histone H1.2 against potential causative organisms of burn wound infections, the in vitro radial diffusion assay and modified NCCLS microbroth dilution MIC assay were carried out. Haemolytic and cytotoxic properties were determined in human red blood cells and primary human keratinocytes. In vivo antimicrobial activity was tested in an infected rat burn model with P. aeruginosa (ATCC 27853). All results were compared with the naturally occurring broad-spectrum antimicrobial peptide protegrin-1 and with antibiotics clinically used against the corresponding bacteria.

Results: Human histone H1.2 exerted good antimicrobial activity against all tested microorganisms without significant haemolytic activity. Surprisingly, histone H1.2 showed cytotoxicity with an LD50 of 7.91 mg/L in primary human keratinocytes. The in vivo burn model data revealed a significant three-fold higher reduction in bacterial counts within 4 h compared with carrier control.

Conclusions: These findings indicate that histone H1.2 is a potential candidate for use as a local and, because of its low haemolytic activity, systemic antimicrobial agent. However, further investigations are needed to specify the cytotoxicity and the dose–response relationship for histone H1.2.

Keywords: skin infections; wound healing; rat burn model; host defence peptides; innate immunity; antimicrobial peptides

Journal Article.  4985 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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