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Crit Rev Microbiol. 1987;15(1):87-95.

Cell wall of Candida albicans and host response.

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Department of Medical Mycology, Instituto Superiore Di Sanità, Rome, Italy.


Modulation in chemistry and organization of cell wall macromolecules play decisive roles in the morphogenic processes and virulence of Candida albicans. Cell wall components also have a diversified range of effects on the host's immune system, including immunopotentiating or immunodepressing activities. Mannan, mannan-protein, and glucan fractions have been especially studied in this context. In in vitro cultured human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, a mannan-protein fraction (GMP) from the cell wall of the yeast form acted as a strong antigenic activator by stimulating lymphokine production and lymphocyte proliferation. Cytolytic effectors active against several tumor targets were also generated. In the mouse, GMP was a strong inducer of natural killer lymphocytes. Other cell wall components, mostly the insoluble beta-glucan, modulated the activity of macrophages and monocyte precursors. Some of the immunomodulating properties of artificially extracted components were shared, even with greater potency, by antigens which were released from C. albicans during its growth and hyphal morphogenesis. Altogether, the range of the immunoresponses elicited and the intensity of the observed effects are such as to individuate in this human indigenous fungus a microorganism capable of profoundly affecting the host's immune system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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