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Microbiol Immunol. 2002;46(7):503-12.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae- and Candida albicans-derived mannan induced production of tumor necrosis factor alpha by human monocytes in a CD14- and Toll-like receptor 4-dependent manner.


The cytokine-inducing activities of fungal polysaccharides were examined in human monocytes in culture, with special reference to CD14 and Toll-like receptors (TLRs). Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) production by monocytes was markedly induced in a dose-dependent manner upon stimulation with cell walls from Candida albicans and mannan from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and C. albicans, although relatively high concentrations (10 to 100 microg/ml) of stimulants were required for activation as compared with the reference lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (1 to 10 ng/ml). The yeast form C. albicans and its mannan and cell wall fractions exhibited higher TNF-alpha production than respective preparations from the hyphal form. Only slight TNF-alpha production was induced by the S. cerevisiae glucan. The TNF-alpha production triggered by reference LPS and purified fungal mannans required the presence of LPS-binding protein (LBP), and these responses were inhibited by anti-CD14 and anti-TLR4 antibodies, but not by anti-TLR2 antibody. In contrast to the activity of LPS, the activity of purified S. cerevisiae mannan was not inhibited by polymyxin B. These findings suggested that the mannan-LBP complex is recognized by CD14 on monocytes and that signaling through TLR4 leads to the production of proinflammatory cytokines in a manner similar to that induced by LPS.

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