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Research Article Open Access
In the pathogenesis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis both fungal and host factors play roles. Though cytokines and phagocyte, as host factors, have been shown to participate in defence against Aspergillus species yet the role of cysteine proteases, that is cathepsins, a lysosomal enzymes of phagocytes, remains unknown in fungal infection. Studies are available which shows that cytokines regulate the cysteine proteases processed immune molecules for their further action but their relationship with each other under fungal infection is not clear. Therefore, in this study, we demonstrate the substantial role of cathepsins and cytokines in aspergillosis. In the present murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, on seventh day of Aspergillus fumigatus infection, both kidney and liver showed significant (P<0.05) fungal burdens, which was also confirmed by histological analyses. The activity profiles of four cathepsins in the kidney and liver tissue were analysed and correlated with blood cytokines level in the presence and absence of antifungal compounds (amphotericin B, a standard drug and 2-(3,4-dimethyl-2,5-dihydro-1H-pyrrole-2-yl)-1-methylethyl pentanoate, isolated in our laboratory from natural source) treatment. The data illustrate that the reduction in fungal load in both organs probably results in a decreased local inflammatory response, as measured by decreased levels of interleukin-4 and interleukin-10 and increased level of interferon gamma in the antifungal compounds treated mice. Interestingly, this altered level of cytokines relates well with the activity level of cathepsins, that is decreased in interleukines (interleukinL-4/interleukin-10) and cathepsins (cathepsin B, cathepsin C and cathepsin L); and increase in interferon gamma and cathepsin H levels in the mice treated with antifungal compounds were observed. These observations support not only the negative (cathepsin B, cathepsin C and cathepsin L) and positive (cathepsin H) role of cathepsins in aspergillosis but also prove the role of cytokines in remodelling of immune response. Overall, the study reveals a correlation between cathepsins and cytokines and their regulatory role in fungal mediated infection.
Aspergillus fumigatus, cathepsins, cytokines, antifungal compounds, liver, kidney