Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Immunol. 2013 Oct;43(10):2671-82. doi: 10.1002/eji.201242891. Epub 2013 Aug 12.

IL-17 plays a central role in initiating experimental Candida albicans infection in mouse corneas.

Author information

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Shandong Eye Institute, Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Qingdao, P. R. China.


The pathogenesis of fungal infection in the cornea remains largely unclear. To understand how the immune system influences the progression of fungal infection in corneas, we inoculated immunocompetent BALB/c mice, neutrophil- or CD4⁺ T-cell-depleted BALB/c mice, and nude mice with Candida albicans. We found that only immunocompetent BALB/c mice developed typical Candida keratitis (CaK), while the other mouse strains lacked obvious clinical manifestations. Furthermore, CaK development was blocked in immunocompetent mice treated with anti-IL-17A or anti-IL-23p19 to neutralize IL-17 activity. However, no significant effects were observed when Treg cells, γδ T cells, or IFN-γ were immunodepleted. Upon infection, the corneas of BALB/c mice were infiltrated with IL-17-producing leukocytes, including neutrophils and, to a lesser degree, CD4⁺ T cells. In contrast, leukocyte recruitment to corneas was significantly diminished in nude mice. Indeed, nude mice produced much less chemokines (e.g. CXCL1, CXCL2, CXCL10, CXCL12, CCL2, and IL-6) in response to inoculation. Remarkably, addition of CXCL2 during inoculation restored CaK induction in nude mice. In contrast to its therapeutic effect on CaK, neutralization of IL-17 exacerbated Candida-induced dermatitis in skin. We conclude that IL-17, mainly produced by neutrophils and CD4⁺ T cells in the corneas, is essential in the pathogenesis of CaK.


Candida albicans; Corneal infection; Fungal infection; IL-17; Neutrophil

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center