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Infect Immun. 1987 Nov;55(11):2783-8.

Cytosolic calcium changes in individual neutrophils stimulated by opsonized and unopsonized Candida albicans hyphae.

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  • 1Evans Memorial Department of Clinical Research, Boston University Medical Center, Massachusetts 02118.


Previous experiments suggest the critical central role of the neutrophil (PMN) respiratory burst in the prevention and containment of disseminated candidiasis. A rise in cytosolic free calcium concentrations ([Ca2+]i) has been documented as an early event after PMN stimulation which is involved in the subsequent genesis of microbicidal and inflammatory respiratory burst products. [Ca2+]i were therefore determined in individual PMN, loaded with the fluorescent calcium probe fura-2 as they attached to and spread over serum-opsonized or unopsonized Candida albicans hyphae, particles that are too big to be completely ingested. After contact between hyphae and PMN, the PMN rapidly spread over hyphal surfaces. Although both opsonized and unopsonized hyphae stimulated similar magnitudes of peak median increases in PMN [Ca2+]i, the kinetics of responses differed; median [Ca2+]i peaked within 1 min after contact with opsonized hyphae versus 4 min after contact with unopsonized hyphae. Moreover, a detectable calcium transient did not invariably follow contact and spreading of each individual PMN over a hyphal surface. In contrast to patterns seen after stimulation of PMN with opsonized zymosan, in which [Ca2+]i is greatest in the periphagosomal region, there was a more uniform distribution throughout the cytoplasm in PMN stimulated with the noningestable hyphae. These alterations in the early patterns and timing of PMN stimulation may reflect analogous differences in subsequent events which control the efficiency and specificity of microbicidal responses to uningestible hyphae and which also determine whether host tissues are damaged by the generation of toxic PMN activation products.

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