Author(s): Gonzalez A, Hung CY, Cole GT
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Abstract We studied the effect of the presence of Coccidioides on the production of nitric oxide (NO) by primary macrophages previously activated by IFN-γ and LPS. The fungal cells were isolated from cultures of arthroconidia that had been incubated for 24 h in a medium that supported parasitic phase growth and were co-cultured with the macrophages. These live, first-generation parasitic cells of Coccidioides, referred to as spherule initials, suppressed NO production as well as iNOS mRNA expression by activated macrophages. Phagocytosis was not required for suppression of NO. We also showed that the culture supernatant of the spherule initials was capable of suppressing NO production, and that this activity was mediated by an as yet unidentified, secreted fungal factor(s). Heat-, paraformaldehyde- or X-ray-treated spherule initials did not show this inhibitory effect. To our surprise, macrophages obtained from iNOS-deficient mice revealed phagocytic activity and killing efficiency which were comparable to that of macrophages isolated from wild type C57BL/6 mice. Although the cultured fungal pathogen can suppress NO production, this oxidative product is apparently not essential for in vitro killing of Coccidioides by activated macrophages. Our results suggest that other unidentified fungicidal mechanisms exist against Coccidioides which are apparently independent of NO production. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Microb Pathog
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology