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APMIS. 2013 Mar;121(3):211-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0463.2012.02958.x. Epub 2012 Sep 7.

Differential strain-related tissue immune response to sublethal systemic Aspergillus fumigatus infection in mice.

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


Using a nonlethal systemic Aspergillus fumigatus infection, we have recently shown that similarly efficient elimination of fungus from spleens of prototypic Th1 (C57BL/6) and prototypic Th2 (BALB/c) mice is associated with differential immune responses. In light of these data and given the disseminated character of infection, the aim of the present study is to explore whether there are also strain-dependent differences in antifungal responses in peripheral tissues of infected mice. Although similar efficiency of conidia removal was noted in liver and kidneys of both strains, BALB/c mice seemed more prone to tissue injury. Compared with other nonlymphoid organs, lungs proved immunologically the most responsive in systemic aspergillosis. Lower numbers of neutrophils and macrophages in the lungs of infected BALB/c mice, delayed and lower (compared with C57BL/6 mice) expression of their oxidative activity, along with late IFN-γ and upregulated IL-4 production by lung cells might be responsible for slower elimination of A. fumigatus from the lungs of this mouse strain. The data obtained imply that lungs should be viewed as mandatory organ in evaluation of immune-mediated antifungal potential of drugs in models of systemic/disseminated infection and that strain differences noted in tissue responses should be taken into account in these settings.

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