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Cell Immunol. 1990 Sep;129(2):271-87.

Induction of LAK-like cells in the peritoneal cavity of mice by inactivated Candida albicans.

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


We have investigated the effect of multiple administrations of inactivated Candida albicans (CA) cells on induction of non-MHC-restricted antitumor cytotoxic responses both in normal and congenitally athymic (nude) mice. Intraperitoneal inoculation of CD2F1 mice with five doses of 2 x 10(7) CA cells over a 2-week interval was associated with the induction of peritoneal exudate cells (PEC) that mediated natural killer cell activity. These cells, in contrast to those elicited by a single dose of CA, killed both NK-sensitive and NK-resistant tumor target cells in vitro. This broad-spectrum, antitumor cytotoxicity peaked 1 day after the last injection of CA, and decreased to control values within 6 (NK-resistant) or 14 (NK-sensitive target cells) days. Cytotoxicity could be recalled to a high level by a boosting injection of CA or a major mannoprotein-soluble antigen (MP) from the Candida cell wall, given 30 days after multiple CA treatment. Upon a 24-hr in vitro incubation, CA-induced peritoneal immunoeffectors lost their killing activity unless human recombinant interleukin-2 (rIL-2) was added to cultures. The non-MHC-restricted cytotoxic PEC activity induced by CA was mainly associated with nonadherent, nonphagocytic large granular lymphocytes (LGL) which exhibited the following phenotypes: (i) asialo GM1+, Lyt 2.2-, and partially Thy 1.2+ (effectors active against NK-sensitive targets) and (ii) asialo GM1+, Lyt 2.2-, and Thy 1.2+ (effectors active against NK-resistant targets). Nude mice also responded to multiple CA inoculations by displaying high cytotoxic activity against NK-sensitive targets and significant cytotoxicity against NK-resistant targets. This cytotoxicity could be recalled on Day +30, and the cytotoxic effectors involved were highly sensitive to anti-asialo GM1 plus complement treatment. Overall, the results add further experimental evidence to the wide range of immunomodulatory properties possessed by C. albicans, and demonstrate that the majority of antitumor cytotoxic activity induced by fungal cells was due to lymphokine-activated killer (LAK)-like effectors.

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