Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Host Microbe. 2007 Jul 12;2(1):55-67.

Phagocytosis by human neutrophils is stimulated by a unique fungal cell wall component.

Author information

Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nine Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.


Innate immunity depends upon recognition of surface features common to broad groups of pathogens. The glucose polymer beta-glucan has been implicated in fungal immune recognition. Fungal walls have two kinds of beta-glucan: beta-1,3-glucan and beta-1,6-glucan. Predominance of beta-1,3-glucan has led to the presumption that it is the key immunological determinant for neutrophils. Examining various beta-glucans for their ability to stimulate human neutrophils, we find that the minor cell wall component beta-1,6-glucan mediates neutrophil activity more efficiently than beta-1,3-glucan, as measured by engulfment, production of reactive oxygen species, and expression of heat shock proteins. Neutrophils rapidly ingest beads coated with beta-1,6-glucan while ignoring those coated with beta-1,3-glucan. Complement factors C3b/C3d are deposited on beta-1,6-glucan more readily than on beta-1,3-glucan. Beta-1,6-glucan is also important for efficient engulfment of the human pathogen Candida albicans. These unique stimulatory effects offer potential for directed stimulation of neutrophils in a therapeutic context.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center