Human dendritic cells are less potent at killing Candida albicans than both monocytes and macrophages
Dendritic cells (DC) function as professional phagocytes to kill Candida albicans and subsequently present it to the adaptive immune system. Monocytes, macrophages and DC were generated from five individual donors and their Candida-killing capacity and cytokine release were assessed. Compared to monocytes and macrophages, DC from healthy volunteers were significantly less effective in C. albicans--stimulated cytokine release, killing of C. albicans blastoconidia and damaging of C. albicans hyphae. In conclusion, while important as antigen-presenting cells and initiators of the adaptive immune system, DC are poor in both intracellular killing and damaging of C. albicans hyphae. Effective handling of large numbers of C. albicans is the prime task of the innate immune system consisting of large numbers of neutrophils and monocytes.