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Sci Rep. 2015 Jan 26;5:8008. doi: 10.1038/srep08008.

Capsular polysaccharides from Cryptococcus neoformans modulate production of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) by human neutrophils.

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Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 21941-900, Brazil.
Instituto de Microbiologia Paulo de Góes, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, 21941-900, Brazil.
Instituto de Veterinária, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Seropédica, 23890-000, Brazil.
Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, FIOCRUZ, Rio de Janeiro, 21045-900, Brazil.


In the present study, we characterized the in vitro modulation of NETs (neutrophil extracellular traps) induced in human neutrophils by the opportunistic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans, evaluating the participation of capsular polysaccharides glucuronoxylomanan (GXM) and glucuronoxylomannogalactan (GXMGal) in this phenomenon. The mutant acapsular strain CAP67 and the capsular polysaccharide GXMGal induced NET production. In contrast, the wild-type strain and the major polysaccharide GXM did not induce NET release. In addition, C. neoformans and the capsular polysaccharide GXM inhibited PMA-induced NET release. Additionally, we observed that the NET-enriched supernatants induced through CAP67 yeasts showed fungicidal activity on the capsular strain, and neutrophil elastase, myeloperoxidase, collagenase and histones were the key components for the induction of NET fungicidal activity. The signaling pathways associated with NET induction through the CAP67 strain were dependent on reactive oxygen species (ROS) and peptidylarginine deiminase-4 (PAD-4). Neither polysaccharide induced ROS production however both molecules blocked the production of ROS through PMA-activated neutrophils. Taken together, the results demonstrate that C. neoformans and the capsular component GXM inhibit the production of NETs in human neutrophils. This mechanism indicates a potentially new and important modulation factor for this fungal pathogen.

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