Beta adrenergic receptor antagonist can modify Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation in vitro: Implications for chronic wounds

Andrea I. Medina Lopez, Daniel R. Fregoso, Anthony Gallegos, Daniel J. Yoon, Jaime J. Fuentes, Robert Crawford, Hawa Kaba, Hsin Ya Yang, R. Rivkah Isseroff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Non-healing wounds are a major medical challenge, affecting over 6.5 million people in the US alone, with associated healthcare costs of about $16 billion annually. They can result in prolonged hospitalizations, work loss, disability, poor quality of life, and in diabetic patients with foot ulcers, amputation of the affected limb in 25% of patients. Though chronic ulcers may arise from different underlying diseases, the unifying feature is chronic infection, driving persistent inflammation that prolongs the healing process. One of the most frequently cultured or genetically identified pathogens in skin wounds is Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This species avidly forms biofilms in the wound that impede bacterial eradication by the host's immune mechanisms and limit efficacy of systemic antibiotics. Thus, non-antibiotic approaches to limit the growth and biofilm formation of this wound pathogen would be an advance in the treatment of chronic wounds. Prior work has demonstrated that the growth of other microbial species can be modulated by catecholamine agonists and antagonists of the adrenergic receptors (ARs). Here, we demonstrate that not only can the growth of this common wound pathogen be modulated by catecholamines, but also that the beta-AR antagonists can significantly decrease their growth, and importantly, limit their ability to form biofilms. These findings suggest that beta adrenergic antagonists may have a therapeutic role in the treatment of chronic skin wounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e22057
JournalFASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • antagonist for adrenergic receptors
  • biofilm
  • chronic wounds
  • infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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