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Med Mycol. 2000 Dec;38(6):419-31.

Local Th1/Th2 cytokine production during experimental vaginal candidiasis: potential importance of transforming growth factor-beta.

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Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans 70112, USA.


Host defense mechanisms against vaginal Candida albicans infections are poorly understood. Despite the protective role of T helper (Th)1-type cell-mediated immunity (CMI) against mucosal C. albicans infections, studies using an estrogen-dependent murine model of vaginal candidiasis have shown a lack of effect of systemic Th1-type CMI against a vaginal C. albicans infection, and a lack of changes in local T cells during infection. In the present study, the local Thl- (interleukin [IL]-2, interferon [IFN]-gamma and IL-12) and Th2- (IL-4, IL-10 and transforming growth factor [TGF]-beta1) type cytokines were evaluated in vaginal tissue during an experimental C. albicans infection. Results showed constitutive expression of TGF-beta1 in vaginal tissue of naive mice that was two-fold higher than the levels of the other cytokines examined. These high levels of TGF-beta1 were further increased as a result of pseudoestrus and/or infection, and were corroborated at the messenger RNA level. Furthermore, the levels of TGF-beta in naive or infected mice were significantly higher in the vagina compared to other areas of the genital tract. Finally, TGF-beta1 predominated as well in the draining, but not non-draining, lymph nodes during infection. These results suggest that TGF-beta1, a potent immunoregulatory cytokine, may be important in the lack of demonstrable CMI at the vaginal mucosa against C. albicans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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