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Mycopathologia. 1996;133(3):149-58.

Intravascular granuloma induced by intravenous inoculation of Cryptococcus neoformans.

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Department of Pathology, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto, Japan.


In rodents an intravenous administration of viable Cryptococcus (C.) neoformans cells frequently resulted in attachment of intravascular cryptococcal granulomas to inner walls of the large to medium-sized veins of various organs, including the lungs, liver and spleen. In order to elucidate the pathogenesis of granulomatous changes, the cells composing the intravascular granulomas were observed by electron microscopic peroxidase (PO) cytochemistry. The granuloma composing cells could be divided into the following four types according to the pattern of endogenous peroxidase activity: exudate macrophage (M phi, type I), PO-negative M phi (type II), resident M phi (type III) and other inflammatory cells (type IV). In the intravenous granulomas of the lung, the percentages of composed cells were 39.0% for type I, 57.9% for type II, 0% for type III and 3.1% for type IV. By contrast, in the interstitial granulomas in the lung, type III M phi s, possibly derived from alveolar M phi s, played a significant role in granuloma formation. This may indicate that the intravascular granuloma is almost composed of macrophages derived from monocytes rather than alveolar macrophages. The expression of ICAM-1 on endothelia of the pulmonary veins was examined by immunoelectron microscopy. An immunogold labeling index was significantly augmented on the surface of endothelia in response to intravenous challenge of C. neoformans. The intravascular granuloma demonstrates that the monocytes develop into the granuloma-composing macrophages and suppress the cryptococcal activities even in the peripheral blood resulting in an assistance of endothelial functions.

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