[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Serum from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) contained significantly higher concentrations of IL-18 than normal individuals. MRL/lpr mice, which develop spontaneous lupus-like autoimmune disease, also had higher serum levels of IL-18 than wild-type MRL/++ mice. Daily injections of IL-18 or IL-18 plus IL-12 resulted in accelerated proteinuria, glomerulonephritis, vasculitis, and raised levels of proinflammatory cytokines in MRL/lpr mice. IL-18-treated MRL/lpr mice also developed a "butterfly" facial rash resembling clinical SLE. In contrast, MRL/lpr mice treated with IL-18 plus IL-12 did not develop a facial rash. The facial lesion in the IL-18-treated mice showed epidermal thickening with intense chronic inflammation accompanied by increased apoptosis, Ig deposition, and early systemic Th2 response compared with control or IL-12 plus IL-18-treated mice. These data therefore show that IL-18 is an important mediator of lupus-like disease and may thus be a novel target for therapeutic intervention of spontaneous autoimmune diseases.
The Journal of Immunology 12/2001; 167(9):5338-47.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Candida albicans is an opportunistic, fungal pathogen of humans that frequently causes superficial infections of oral and vaginal mucosal surfaces of debilitated and susceptible individuals. The organism is however, commonly encountered as a commensal in healthy individuals where it is a component of the normal microflora. The key determinant in the type of relationship that Candida has with its host is how it interacts with the epithelial surface it colonises. A delicate balance clearly exists between the potentially damaging effects of Candida virulence factors and the nature of the immune response elicited by the host. Frequently, it is changes in host factors that lead to Candida seemingly changing from a commensal to pathogenic existence. However, given the often reported heterogeneity in morphological and biochemical factors that exist between Candida species and indeed strains of C. albicans, it may also be the fact that colonising strains differ in the way they exploit resources to allow persistence at mucosal surfaces and as a consequence this too may affect the way Candida interacts with epithelial cells. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of some of the possible interactions that may occur between C. albicans and host epithelial surfaces that may in turn dictate whether Candida removal, its commensal persistence or infection follows.