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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2003 Feb;51(2):305-12.

The activity of amphotericin B against Candida albicans is not directly associated with extracellular calcium concentration.

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Department of Pharmacy Practice, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS 39216, USA.


The ability of amphotericin B to increase intracellular calcium concentrations in human cells is associated with the toxicity of this antifungal agent. The present study was performed to determine whether amphotericin B affects the influx or efflux of calcium in Candida albicans, and whether the antifungal activity of amphotericin B is dependent upon extracellular calcium concentrations. Concentration-response studies demonstrated that the addition of up to 1 mM EGTA to standard growth medium, with a more than 4000-fold decrease in extracellular calcium concentration, had no effect on the activity of amphotericin B against C. albicans. Amphotericin B did affect the kinetics of calcium influx acutely (< or =10 min), but had no net effect on long-term (1-24 h) calcium accumulation. Calcium efflux was also not affected by amphotericin B. These results indicate that, unlike its effects on mammalian cells, the toxicity of amphotericin B against C. albicans is not dependent upon increased movement of calcium across the cell membrane or the presence of extracellular calcium.

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