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Infect Immun. 1996 Jun;64(6):2336-8.

Influence of opsonization conditions on C3 deposition and phagocyte binding of large- and small-capsule Cryptococcus neoformans cells.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and the Cell and Molecular Biology Program, University of Nevada, Reno, 89557, USA.


Previous studies demonstrated that, following opsonization with normal human serum (NHS), phagocytes bind greater numbers of small-capsule Cryptococcus neoformans cells than yeast cells with large capsules. The present study tested the hypothesis that suboptimal deposition of opsonic C3 fragments contributes to this disparity. C neoformans was grown under conditions promoting large or small capsules and was incubated at various concentrations in NHS. At low concentrations of yeast cells (125 cells per microl of NHS), the deposition of C3 fragments per unit of capsule volume and the binding of yeast cells to cultured human monocytes were similar for yeast cells having large and small capsules. However, at higher cell concentrations, large-capsule cells exhibited suboptimal coating with C3 fragments and markedly diminished monocyte binding compared with small-capsule cells. Thus, the inverse correlation between capsule size and phagocyte binding can be overcome by conditions promoting optimal C3 deposition.

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