A limited role of iNKT cells in controlling systemic Candida albicans infections.

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A limited role of iNKT cells in controlling systemic Candida albicans infections.

Jpn J Infect Dis. 2012;65(6):522-6

Authors: Tarumoto N, Kinjo Y, Ueno K, Okawara A, Watarai H, Taniguchi M, Maesaki S, Miyazaki Y

Abstract
Candida albicans is a major cause of invasive fungal infections. Mortality attributable to candidemia is very high, even when patients are treated with adequate antifungal agents. Therefore, it is important to investigate the mechanisms of immune response to C. albicans. Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells, innate lymphocytes that express an invariant T cell receptor α chain, participate in the response to various microbes, including two fungal pathogens, Aspergillus fumigatus and Cryptococcus neoformans. However, it is unknown whether iNKT cells play a role in the immune response to C. albicans. In this study, we have investigated the role of iNKT cells in the host defense against systemic C. albicans infection in mice. We compared the survival and fungal clearance between control mice and Jα18KO mice, which specifically lack iNKT cells, after intravenous C. albicans infection. There was no difference in the survival and fungal burden in the kidneys of the control and Jα18KO mice. Furthermore, production of inflammatory cytokines in several organs during C. albicans infection did not significantly differ between these two groups. These results suggest that iNKT cells play a minor role in controlling systemic C. albicans infections in mice.

PMID: 23183205 [PubMed - in process]