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Med Mycol. 2010 Aug;48(5):735-43. doi: 10.3109/13693780903496591.

Splenic and lung response to nonlethal systemic Aspergillus fumigatus infection in C57BL/6 mice.

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Department of Ecology, Institute for Biological Research Sinisa Stankovic, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.


In this study, we investigated splenic and lung cell responses to nonlethal systemic Aspergillus fumigatus infection in mice. Apart from basic indices of spleen and lung cell activity, IL-17 expression by cells from both tissues was determined and compared to the expression of IFN-gamma and IL-4. Progressive decrease in tissue fungal burden correlated with increased spleen and lung cell activity. Increased IL-17 message was noted in spleen cells at all time points (3, 7 and 15 days post-infection; p.i.), while a modest increase in IFN-gamma mRNA expression was noted at day 3 p.i. Increased cytokine production at days 3 and 7 (IL-17) and throughout the experimental period (IFN-gamma) was found. In contrast, spleen cell IL-4 expression was considerably lower during infection, resulting in high IFN-gamma/IL-4 and IL-17/IL-4 ratios in the spleen. Pro-inflammatory cytokine response was observed in the lungs as well, but primarily as the result of increased production of IFN-gamma by lung cells in response to challenge with conidia and the absence of change in IL-4 response. Increased activity of cells from both tissues, as well as the pattern of cytokine production, created an optimal pro-inflammatory milieu for fungal eradication.

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