Author(s): Mody CH, Toews GB, Lipscomb MF
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Abstract Cryptococcus neoformans is a frequent opportunistic infectious agent in patients with decreased T-lymphocyte-mediated immune function, including those with acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Cyclosporin A (CsA), a potent inhibitor of T-lymphocyte function, was administered subcutaneously to mice to study the pathogenesis of C. neoformans infections in the setting of impaired T-cell function. Surprisingly, survival was prolonged indefinitely in animals that received immunosuppressive doses of CsA following either intratracheal or intravenous inoculations of C. neoformans. Furthermore, following intratracheal inoculation, mice treated with CsA cleared C. neoformans from their lungs more rapidly than did control mice. CsA directly inhibited the growth of C. neoformans when it was added to cultures in vitro at concentrations comparable to the blood levels achieved in experimental mice. Thus, CsA inhibited both in vitro and in vivo growth of C. neoformans. While these results must be extended to studies in humans, these data suggest that patients who now receive CsA-immunosuppressive therapy may be fortuitously protected against infections with C. neoformans. Furthermore, research into cyclosporin derivatives may yield compounds with less immunosuppressive properties and enhanced antifungal activity.
This article was published in Infect Immun
and referenced in Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta