Our previous studies have shown that unstimulated alveolar macrophages (AM) play a predominant role as antigen-presenting cells in Cryptococcus neoformans infections, while the function as effector cells seems to be of minor relevance. The present study focuses on the role of encapsulation of C. neoformans on fungicidal activity and the antigen presentation process of AM. Fungicidal activity in unstimulated AM occurs to a higher degree when the acapsular strain is employed, but this is impaired compared with other natural effectors, such as peripheral blood monocytes (PBM) and polymorphonuclear (PMN) cells. Cryptococcus-laden AM also induce a higher proliferative response in autologous CD4+ lymphocytes when the acapsular strain is used compared with encapsulated yeast. The enhanced blastogenic response is, in part, ascribed to an augmented IL-2 production by T cells. In addition, higher levels of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), but not IL-4, are produced by the responding T cells, when the acapsular strain is used compared with the encapsulated yeast. Moreover, IFN-gamma is able to induce fungicidal activity in AM against the encapsulated yeast and augments killing activity of the acapsular strain. This phenomenon is not mediated by nitric oxide production, but is correlated with an enhancement of fungicidal activity of cytoplasmic cationic proteases. We speculate that encapsulation of C. neoformans could down-regulate the development of the immune response mediated by Cryptococcus-laden AM at lung level.

Encapsulation of Cryptococcus neoformans regulates fungicidal activity and the antigen presentation process in human alveolar macrophages

VECCHIARELLI, Anna;PIETRELLA, Donatella;MONARI, Claudia;BISTONI, Francesco
1994

Abstract

Our previous studies have shown that unstimulated alveolar macrophages (AM) play a predominant role as antigen-presenting cells in Cryptococcus neoformans infections, while the function as effector cells seems to be of minor relevance. The present study focuses on the role of encapsulation of C. neoformans on fungicidal activity and the antigen presentation process of AM. Fungicidal activity in unstimulated AM occurs to a higher degree when the acapsular strain is employed, but this is impaired compared with other natural effectors, such as peripheral blood monocytes (PBM) and polymorphonuclear (PMN) cells. Cryptococcus-laden AM also induce a higher proliferative response in autologous CD4+ lymphocytes when the acapsular strain is used compared with encapsulated yeast. The enhanced blastogenic response is, in part, ascribed to an augmented IL-2 production by T cells. In addition, higher levels of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), but not IL-4, are produced by the responding T cells, when the acapsular strain is used compared with the encapsulated yeast. Moreover, IFN-gamma is able to induce fungicidal activity in AM against the encapsulated yeast and augments killing activity of the acapsular strain. This phenomenon is not mediated by nitric oxide production, but is correlated with an enhancement of fungicidal activity of cytoplasmic cationic proteases. We speculate that encapsulation of C. neoformans could down-regulate the development of the immune response mediated by Cryptococcus-laden AM at lung level.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11391/919299
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