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Mycopathologia. 2013 Feb;175(1-2):1-11. doi: 10.1007/s11046-012-9589-9. Epub 2012 Oct 7.

Mouse strain-dependent differences in estrogen sensitivity during vaginal candidiasis.

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Internal Medicine Section, Department of Veterinary Pathology, Diagnostic and Veterinary Clinic, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy.


The animal models available for studying the immune response to genital tract infection require induction of a pseudo estrous state, usually achieved by administration of 17-β-estradiol. In our experimental model of vaginal candidiasis, under pseudo estrus, different strains of mice were used. We observed major differences in the clearance of Candida albicans infection among the different strains, ascribable to differing susceptibility to estradiol treatment. In the early phase of infection CD1, BALB/c, C57BL/6 albino and C57BL/6 mice were colonized to similar levels, while in the late phase of infection, BALB/c mice, which are considered genetically resistant to C. albicans infection, exhibited greater susceptibility to vaginal candidiasis than CD1 and C57BL/6 albino strains of mice. This was because estradiol induced "per se" enlarged and fluid-filled uteri, more pronounced in infected mice and consistently more evident in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice than in CD1 mice. Unlike CD1, BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice showed a heavy fungal colonization of the uterus, even though C57BL/6 mice apparently cleared C. albicans from the vagina. The presence of C. albicans in the vagina and uterus was accompanied by a heavy bacterial load. Collectively these observations prompted us to carry out a careful analysis of estradiol effects in a mouse model of vaginal infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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