Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Immunol. 1995 Oct 1;155(7):3507-16.

Down-regulation of the afferent phase of T cell-mediated pulmonary inflammation and immunity by a high melanin-producing strain of Cryptococcus neoformans.

Author information

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor 48109, USA.


The interaction(s) between cryptococcal virulence factors and leukocytes involved in generating protective cell-mediated immunity is not well defined. Intratracheal inoculation of Cryptococcus neoformans strain 52 induced a vigorous T cell-mediated pulmonary inflammatory response that controlled the growth of the organism. In contrast, strain 145 induced a pulmonary inflammatory response that was delayed in onset, slower to develop, and ineffective in controlling the infection. In addition, the expansion of cryptococcus-specific lymphocytes in the pulmonary lymph nodes and titer of specific Abs in the serum of strain 145-infected mice were both diminished markedly. Of the known cryptococcal virulence factors, these two strains differed only in melanin production (52-low and 145-high). Heat-killed strain 145 cryptococci (HKC-145) that had been rendered melanin-negative induced TNF-alpha production by alveolar macrophages in vitro and stimulated vigorous cryptococcus-specific lymphoproliferation. In contrast, high melanin-containing HKC-145 inhibited TNF-alpha production and lymphoproliferation. In vivo, mice infected with melanin low strain 52, but not melanin high strain 145, had elevated levels of TNF-alpha in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Mice co-infected with strains 145 and 52 generated a pulmonary inflammatory response resulting in increased long-term survival. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that melanin does not protect cryptococci from being eliminated in vivo by recruited, activated effector cells; but melanin can inhibit the recognition of the organism by host defenses, thereby down-regulating the afferent phase of T cell-mediated immunity, e.g., TNF-alpha production and lymphoproliferation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center