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FEMS Yeast Res. 2010 Jun;10(4):432-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1567-1364.2010.00620.x. Epub 2010 Mar 8.

Protection against rat vaginal candidiasis by adoptive transfer of vaginal B lymphocytes.

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Department of Infectious Parasitic and Immune-Mediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.


Vulvovaginal candidiasis is a mucosal infection affecting many women, but the immune mechanisms operating against Candida albicans at the mucosal level remain unknown. A rat model was employed to further characterize the contribution of B and T cells to anti-Candida vaginal protection. Particularly, the protective role of vaginal B cells was studied by means of adoptive transfer of vaginal CD3(-) CD5(+) IgM(+) cells from Candida-immunized rats to naïve animals. This passive transfer of B cells resulted into a number of vaginal C. albicans CFU approximately 50% lower than their controls. Sorted CD3(-) CD5(+) IgM(+) vaginal B lymphocytes from Candida-infected rats proliferated in response to stimulation with an immunodominant mannoprotein (MP) antigen of the fungus. Importantly, anti-MP antibodies and antibody-secreting B cells were detected in the supernatant and cell cultures, respectively, of vaginal B lymphocytes from infected rats incubated in vitro with vaginal T cells and stimulated with MP. No such specific antibodies were found when using vaginal B cells from uninfected rats. Furthermore, inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-6 and IL-10, were found in the supernatant of vaginal B cells from infected rats. These data are evidence of a partial anti-Candida protective role of CD3(-) CD5(+) IgM(+) vaginal B lymphocytes in our experimental model.

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