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J Immunol. 2009 Aug 15;183(4):2407-14. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0900961. Epub 2009 Jul 22.

Immune sensing of Aspergillus fumigatus proteins, glycolipids, and polysaccharides and the impact on Th immunity and vaccination.

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Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy.


The ability of the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus to activate, suppress, or subvert host immune response during life cycle in vivo through dynamic changing of cell wall structure and secretion implicates discriminative immune sensing of distinct fungal components. In this study, we have comparatively assessed secreted- and membrane-anchored proteins, glycolipids, and polysaccharides for the ability to induce vaccine-dependent protection in transplanted mice and Th cytokine production by human-specific CD4(+) T cell clones. The results show that the different fungal components are endowed with the distinct capacity to activate Th cell responses in mice and humans, with secreted proteins inducing Th2 cell activation, membrane proteins Th1/Treg, glycolipids Th17, and polysaccharides mostly IL-10 production. Of interest, the side-by-side comparison revealed that at least three fungal components (a protease and two glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins) retained their immunodominant Th1/Treg activating potential from mice to humans. This suggests that the broadness and specificity of human T cell repertoire against the fungus could be selectively exploited with defined immunoactive Aspergillus Ags.

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