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Biomed Rep. 2015 Mar;3(2):179-182. Epub 2014 Nov 24.

Mechanism underlying renal failure caused by pathogenic Candida albicans infection.

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Pohang Center for Evaluation of Biomaterials, Pohang, Gyeongbuk, Republic of Korea.
Department of Oral Pharmacology, School of Dentistry and Institute of Oral Bioscience, BK21 plus, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Republic of Korea.
Department of Animal Science and Technology, Sunchon National University, Suncheon, Republic of Korea.
Natural Medicine Research Institute, Department of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Mokpo National University, Muan, Jeonnam, Republic of Korea.


Candida albicans (C. albicans) is an opportunistic fungal pathogen that commonly causes nosocomial infections. Systemic candidiasis is encountered with increasing frequency in immunocompromised hosts, leading to renal failure that results in severe morbidity and mortality. The present study investigated the mechanisms underlying kidney susceptibility following infection with several C. albicans strains, such as B311 and SC5314. Fungal growth of the highly virulent SC5314 strain was 103-fold higher compared to the nonpathogenic B311 strain in the kidneys. An intravenous challenge of SC5314 in mice, elevated blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatine levels, which resulted in mortality at 8 or 35 days after infection in a dose- and time-dependent manner, whereas all the B311-infected mice had BUN and creatinine levels in the normal range and survived. Whether virulent C. albicans may escape clearance by activating signaling pathways that lead to the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-1β, was investigated. B311 infections significantly elevated TNF-α and IL-1β mRNA expression in the kidneys, whereas the expression in SC5314-infected mice remained unchanged. Furthermore, B311 infection significantly elevated the plasma levels of TNF-α and IL-1β. These results indicated that the less virulent strains of C. albicans induced pro-inflammatory cytokines in mice. These results determined that an impairment of the protective mechanisms occurred in the kidneys with virulent C. albicans infection.


B311; Candida albicans; SC5314; interleukin-1β; tumor necrosis factor-α

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