[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Experimental Cryptococcus neoformans infection in rats has been shown to have similarities with human cryptococcosis, because as in healthy humans, rats can effectively contain cryptococcal infection. Moreover, it has been shown that eosinophils are components of the immune response to C. neoformans infections. In a previous in vitro study, we demonstrated that rat peritoneal eosinophils phagocytose opsonized live yeasts of C. neoformans, thereby triggering their activation, as indicated by the up-regulation of MHC and co-stimulatory molecules and the increase in interleukin-12, tumour necrosis factor-α and interferon-γ production. Furthermore, this work demonstrated that C. neoformans-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T lymphocytes cultured with these activated C. neoformans-pulsed eosinophils proliferated, and produced important amounts of T helper type 1 (Th1) cytokines in the absence of Th2 cytokine synthesis. In the present in vivo study, we have shown that C. neoformans-pulsed eosinophils are also able to migrate into lymphoid organs to present C. neoformans antigens, thereby priming naive and re-stimulating infected rats to induce T-cell and B-cell responses against infection with the fungus. Furthermore, the antigen-specific immune response induced by C. neoformans-pulsed eosinophils, which is characterized by the development of a Th1 microenvironment with increased levels of NO synthesis and C. neoformans-specific immunoglobulin production, was demonstrated to be able to protect rats against subsequent infection with fungus. In summary, the present work demonstrates that eosinophils act as antigen-presenting cells for the fungal antigen, hence initiating and modulating a C. neoformans-specific immune response. Finally, we suggest that C. neoformans-loaded eosinophils might participate in the protective immune response against these fungi.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our previous studies showed that the subcutaneous pretreatment of rats with heat killed cells of Cryptococcus neoformans (HKC) emulsified in complete Freund adjuvant (CFA) promotes protection against an intraperitoneal challenge with viable C. neoformans. In this model, an appropriate activation of adherent peritoneal cells after antigenic treatment is very important for the control of the infection. Here, we investigated the immune response developed in spleen and lymphatic nodes as a result of treatment with HKC-CFA, which might also contribute in the protective phenomenon of this treatment against cryptococcal infection. The results show that, compared with adjuvant alone, rats which received treatment with HKC-CFA presented a greater activation of adherent splenic cells, with up-regulation of major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC II) and CD86 expression and secretion of anticryptococcal metabolites. Furthermore, this treatment also induced an increase in the blastogenic response and the secretion of Th1 and Th2 cytokines by spleen cells in comparison with cells from CFA-phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) treated rats. On the other hand, lymph node cells from animals treated with HKC-CFA presented a rise in the expression of MHCII but not of CD86 with respect to control cells from rats treated with CFA-PBS. These cells also showed a high proliferative response and secretion of Th1-related cytokines, interleukin (IL)-12 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). These results show that treatment of rats with HKC-CFA is able to induce an early immune response in secondary lymphoid organs, which may contribute to the protective effect induced by this treatment.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dermatophytic mycetoma is an extremely rare subcutaneous mycosis. Here, we report the case of a 6-year-old girl with clinical, histologic, and mycologic findings consistent with a mycetoma of the scalp caused by Microsporum canis. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing the immunologic and immunogenetic features of a patient with a recalcitrant dermatophytic mycetoma.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Experimental Cryptococcus neoformans infection in rats has been shown to have similarities with human cryptococcosis, revealing a strong granulomatous response and a low susceptibility to dissemination. Moreover, it has been shown that eosinophils are components of the inflammatory response to C. neoformans infections. In this in vitro study, we demonstrated that rat peritoneal eosinophils phagocytose opsonized live yeasts of C. neoformans, and that the phenomenon involves the engagement of FcγRII and CD18. Moreover, our results showed that the phagocytosis of opsonized C. neoformans triggers eosinophil activation, as indicated by (i) the up-regulation of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I, MHC class II and costimulatory molecules, and (ii) an increase in interleukin (IL)-12, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) production. However, nitric oxide (NO) and hydrogen peroxide (H(2) O(2) ) synthesis by eosinophils was down-regulated after interaction with C. neoformans. Furthermore, this work demonstrated that CD4(+) and CD8(+) T lymphocytes isolated from spleens of infected rats and cultured with C. neoformans-pulsed eosinophils proliferate in an MHC class II- and class I-dependent manner, respectively, and produce important amounts of T-helper 1 (Th1) type cytokines, such as TNF-α and IFN-γ, in the absence of T-helper 2 (Th2) cytokine synthesis. In summary, the present study demonstrates that eosinophils act as fungal antigen-presenting cells and suggests that C. neoformans-loaded eosinophils might participate in the adaptive immune response.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii are encapsulated yeast agents of cryptococcosis and facultative intracellular pathogens. The interaction of these yeasts with macrophages is essential for containing the infection. However, Cryptococcus spp. overcome this initial host defense barrier using a unique pathogenic strategy involving intracellular replication and cytoplasmic accumulation of polysaccharide-containing vesicles. Here, we employed representational difference analysis (RDA) to identify C. neoformans and C. gattii genes differentially expressed during intracellular growth in rat peritoneal macrophages. The upregulated transcripts of C. neoformans during macrophage interaction were related to ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, intra-golgi transport, chaperone activity, ribosomal maintenance, NAD metabolism, histone methylation, stress response, and monosaccharide metabolism. In contrast, with C. gattii, upregulated genes were associated with cell growth, aerobic respiration, protein binding, microtubule nucleation, monosaccharides and nitrogen metabolism, inositol or phosphatidylinositol phosphatase activity, cellular signaling, and stress response. Our findings reveal new genes that may be necessary for the intracellular parasitism of C. neoformans and C. gattii.
Medical mycology: official publication of the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology 03/2010; 48(7):932-41. · 2.13 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies in our laboratory have shown that the subcutaneous pretreatment of rats with heat-killed cells (HKC) of Cryptococcus neoformans emulsified in complete Freund adjuvant (CFA) promotes protective immunity against an intraperitoneal challenge with C. neoformans. In contrast, subcutaneous treatment with the capsular polysaccharide (PSC) emulsified in CFA exacerbates the cryptococcal infection. The purpose of this study was to analyze the mechanisms involved in these phenomena. Adherent peritoneal cells from rats treated with HKC-CFA showed upregulated ED2, CD80, and CD86 expression; an increase in the level of production of anticryptococcal metabolites; and the enhanced production of interleukin-12 (IL-12) in comparison with the findings for cells from rats treated with CFA-phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). Adherent peritoneal cells from rats treated with PSC-CFA, however, also presented upregulated ED2, CD80, and CD86 expression compared to the level of expression for peritoneal cells from controls, but these cells showed an increase in arginase activity and decreased levels of production of IL-12 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) compared with the activity and levels of production by peritoneal cells from CFA-PBS-treated rats. In addition, treatment with HKC-CFA resulted in a rise in the phagocytic and anticryptococcal activities of adherent peritoneal cells compared to those for control rats. However, adherent peritoneal cells from rats treated with PSC-CFA presented a reduction in anticryptococcal activity in comparison with that for cells from animals treated with CFA-PBS. These results show the differential activation between adherent peritoneal cells from HKC-CFA- and PSC-CFA-treated rats, with this differential activation at the primary site of infection possibly being responsible, at least in part, for the phenomena of protection and exacerbation observed in our model.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glucuronoxylomannan (GXM) is the major component of Cryptococcus capsular polysaccharide, which represents an essential virulence factor for this yeast. Cryptococcus neoformans infections in immunocompetent rats are associated with inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression and nitric oxide (NO) production by macrophages. This study demonstrates in vitro and in vivo that GXM promotes iNOS expression with NO production in rat macrophages. GXM also induced macrophage apoptosis after 48 h of culture, with this phenomenon being prevented by the iNOS inhibitor, aminoguanidine. The NO-induced macrophage apoptosis triggered by GXM was dependent on interactions with CD18, Fcgamma receptor II and protein kinase C activation, without participation of tyrosine kinases or mitogen-activated protein kinases. Furthermore, this study reveals that GXM down-regulates the macrophage caspase-3 activity, induces a caspase-independent cell death and promotes depolarization of mitochondria membrane potential with increased cytosolic expression of the apoptosis-inducing factor. Taken together, this study describes the pathways and mechanisms involved in the macrophage apoptosis promoted by GXM through NO generation. These findings indicate new mechanisms of immunomodulation for the main capsular polysaccharide of C. neoformans.
International Immunology 11/2008; 20(12):1527-41. · 3.14 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Eosinophils (Eo) are known to be important effector cells in the host defense against helminth parasites. Excretory-secretory products (ESP) released by helminths have shown wide immunomodulatory properties, such as the induction of cellular apoptosis. We investigated the ability of ESP from Fasciola hepatica to induce Eo apoptosis. In this work, we observed that ESP induced an early apoptosis of rat peritoneal eosinophils and that this phenomenon was time- and concentration-dependent. Furthermore, we demonstrated that activation of protein tyrosine kinases (TyrK) and caspases were necessary to mediate the Eo apoptosis induced by the ESP, and that carbohydrate components present in these antigens were involved in this effect. We have described for the first time the ability of ESP from F. hepatica to modify the viability of Eo by apoptosis induction. Besides that, we have observed Eo apoptosis in the liver of rats 21 days after F. hepatica infection. The diminution in Eo survival in early infection could be a parasite strategy in order to prevent a host immune response.
Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 07/2007; 117(3-4):197-208. · 1.88 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Different clinical parameters which included cell-mediated immune (CMI) response, were evaluated in a model of disseminated cryptococcosis in rats. The experimental animals were pretreated four days prior to their exposure to Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii with either heat killed cells of this yeastlike pathogen (HKC) or capsular polysaccharide (CPS) emulsified in complete Freund adjuvant (CFA). Rats treated with HKC-CFA and intraperitoneally infected with C. neoformans var. grubii had significantly better clearance of yeasts from tissues, a lower concentration of the cryptococcal capsular polysaccharide, glucuronoxylomannan (GXM), in serum and tissues, and better histopathological parameters compared to unpretreated infected rats. In contrast, rats treated with CPS-CFA presented an exacerbation of infection with a significantly higher fungal burden in tissues, a higher concentration of GXM in serum, and worse histopathological parameters compared to similar unpretreated infected rats. In addition, HKC-CFA treatment produced a T helper 1 (Th1) profile with improvements in the spleen cell proliferative response, in the level of INFgamma production by CD4 T cells, and in the nitric oxide (NO) production by peritoneal cells. On the other hand, rats treated with CPS-CFA showed an increased level of the immunoregulatory cytokine IL10 production by CD4 T cells, but no modification in the NO production by peritoneal cells.
Medical Mycology 10/2006; 44(6):493-504. · 1.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glucuronoxylomannan (GXM) is the major Cryptococcus neoformans capsular polysaccharide and represents the main virulence factor of this fungus. In in vitro studies we have demonstrated previously that this acidic and high-molecular-weight polysaccharide suppresses lymphoproliferation, modulates cytokine production and promotes apoptosis in spleen mononuclear (Spm) cells from rats. In this study we demonstrate that these phenomena also occur in vivo after the intracardiac inoculation of GXM into normal Wistar rats. The results of this study show suppression of the proliferative response Spm cells to concanavalin A (Con A) or heat-killed C. neoformans (HKCn) in the first 2 weeks after polysaccharide administration. In addition, increased levels of interleukin (IL)-10 were produced by Con A-stimulated Spm cells, coinciding with immunohistochemical GXM detection in the white pulp of spleen. In particular, high production of IL-10 with diminution of IL-2, interferon (IFN)-gamma and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha synthesis were detected 14 days after GXM administration. In situ cell death detection by TdT-mediated biotin-dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL) reaction in sections of spleen, lung and liver demonstrates apoptosis in tissues with deposits of GXM. These data demonstrate the in vivo ability of GXM to modify cytokine synthesis by Spm cells and to promote host cell apoptosis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic Fasciola hepatica infection is correlated with the development of a T helper (Th2)-predominant immune response. To determine whether immunostimulatory CpG-containing oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODN) or Freund's complete adjuvant (FCA), known to promote a Th1 (T helper 1) immune responses, could provide protection from F. hepatica infection, total homogenate (TH) of F. hepatica mixed with CpG-ODN or FCA were injected subcutaneously (s.c.) into Wistar rats. A F. hepatica-specific Th1-predominant immune response was induced with CpG-ODN or FCA in lymph nodes of immunized animals. Lymph node cells from TH-CpG-ODN or TH-FCA immunized rats showed increased antigen-specific proliferation with high levels of INFgamma, compared to lymphocytes from rats injected with TH alone. In contrast, these two groups of immunized animals did not modify IL-4 release by draining lymph node cells, when they were subsequently stimulated with TH in vitro. However, a significant reduction in the burden of flukes (76.7%) was only observed in rats immunized with TH-FCA. Conversely, immunization of rats with TH-CpG-ODN did not promote protection against the parasite. Therefore, even though CpG-ODNs and FCA induced Th1 type responses, only FCA provided a significant protection to rats infected with F. hepatica.
Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 02/2004; 97(1-2):97-104. · 1.88 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We studied the ability of glucuronoxylomannan (GXM), the major constituent of Cryptococcus neoformans capsular polysaccharide, to induce apoptosis in lymphocytes from normal rats. Spleen mononuclear cells (Smc) from normal rats treated with GXM for 24 h exhibited, in comparison with controls, an increased hypodiploidy in the DNA profile after staining with propidium iodide, as well as increased ladder-type DNA fragmentation in agarose gel electrophoresis and a high number of positive cells in the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase biotin-dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) reaction. Furthermore, increased hypodiploidy in the DNA profile was also observed in Smc expressing T-cell receptor (TCR +). We also studied the induction of apoptosis in lungs and spleens from rats in the immunosuppressor period of disseminated cryptococcosis. TUNEL labeling of lungs and spleens from rats obtained 14 days after infection with C. neoformans showed a large number of apoptotic cells. Our results provide strong cytometric, molecular and morphological evidence that apoptosis could be a previously unrecognized immunosuppressive property of GXM in vitro. This programmed cell death may be involved in the immunosuppression observed during C. neoformans infection.
Medical Mycology 09/2003; 41(4):347-53. · 1.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In previous work we have demonstrated that spleen mononuclear (Spm) cells from rats obtained 14 days after infection with Cryptococcus neoformans showed a diminution in proliferative response to Concanavalin A (Con A). In this study we further investigate some characteristics of the Spm cell population involved in the immunosuppressor phenomenon induced by C. neoformans. We observed that unstimulated Spm cells expressing T-cell receptor (TCR+) from infected rats were reduced in number after 96 h of culture. When the Spm cells from infected rats were stimulated with Con A, increased production of IL-10, reduced levels of IL-2, and decreased CD11a surface expression were shown. These immunosuppressor phenomena were also observed when the capsular polysaccharide, glucuronoxylomannan (GXM), was added to cultures of Spm cells from normal rats. However, GXM had a more pronounced effect in reducing the number of cells surviving in culture than that observed during infection and produced an increase in IL-4 production by Con-A-stimulated Spm cells. Addition of anti-IL-10 monoclonal antibody to cultures restored the lymphoproliferation of Spm cells from infected animals, indicating that IL-10 production is a suppressor mechanism of cell-mediated immunity during experimental infection. The results presented here indicate that at least two mechanisms mediate the nonspecific suppression in this model of cryptococcosis: IL-10 production and diminution of the number of T cells. GXM could be involved, since it has a pronounced effect in the reduction of Spm cells in vitro.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study we investigated the role of nitric oxide (NO) in the effector mechanisms of host defense against Cryptococcus neoformans in vivo. Our results showed an increase of NO produced by the peritoneal macrophages from 14-days infected rats compared with normal rats. These cells were capable of killing C. neoformans to a greater extent than macrophages from noninfected rats (80% vs 20%, respectively). The killing of C. neoformans by infected cells was efficiently inhibited (80% to 35%, P < 0.001) by adding aminoguanidine (AG) to the cultures. We observed that in vivo administration of AG to the infected animals efficiently inhibited the metabolism producing NO and failed to affect that of normal animals. When the NO synthase (NOS) was inhibited in vivo in the infected animals, a marked increase of the fungi charge in the organs was observed with respect to the normal animals treated with AG. We also observed that the course of the infection is drastically modified after the inhibition of NO production because all the animals infected and treated with AG died from cryptococcosis before 20 days postinfection (p.i.). These results indicate that NO is a crucial molecule in the effector mechanisms in this infection model.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study demonstrates the capacity of the one-step polymerase chain reaction (PCR) fingerprinting method using the microsatellite primers (GACA)(4) or (GTG)(5) (MSP-PCR) to identify six of the most frequent dermatophyte species causing cutaneous mycosis. PCR with (GACA)(4) was a suitable method to recognise Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum, Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton interdigitale among 82 Argentinian clinical isolates, producing the most simple and reproducible band profiles. In contrast, the identification of Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Trichophyton tonsurans was achieved using PCR with (GTG)(5). In this way, the sequential application of PCR using (GACA)(4) and (GTG)(5) allowed the successful typification of clinical isolates which had not been determined by mycological standard techniques. In this work, the intraspecies variability among 33 clinical isolates of M. canis was detected using random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD-PCR) with the primers OPI-07 and OPK-20. The genetic variations in the isolates of M. canis were not associated with clinical features of lesions or pet ownership, but a geographical restriction of one genotype was determined with OPK-20, suggesting a clonal diversity related to different ecological niches in certain geographical areas. The results of this work demonstrate that the detection of intraspecies polymorphisms in M. canis by RAPD-PCR may be applied in future molecular epidemiological studies to identify endemic strains, the route of infection in an outbreak or the coexistence of different strains in a single infection.
European Journal of Clinical Microbiology · 3.02 Impact Factor