Murine models of invasive candidiasis were used to study the in vivo importance of gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) in host defense against Candida albicans and to characterize the tissue inflammatory reactions, with special reference to macrophages (Mφ). Knockout (KO) IFN-γ-deficient (GKO) and IL-4-deficient (IL-4 KO) and C57BL/6 parental mouse strains were challenged intraperitoneally with 108 C. albicans blastoconidia. Survival of GKO mice was significantly lower (16.7%) than that of C57BL/6 control (55.5%) and IL-4 KO (61.1%) animals, but was not correlated with the extent of organ colonization. Immunohistological analysis with a panel of myeloid and lymphoid markers revealed multiple renal abscesses, myocarditis, hepatitis, meningoencephalitis, and pneumonia in each strain, with a dominant presence of Mφ. In the absence of IFN-γ, C. albicans induced striking changes in the phenotype of alveolar Mφ and extensive perivascular lymphoid infiltrates in the lung. Impairment in nitric oxide production by peritoneal Mφ was shown only in GKO mice, and they produced Candida-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgM, IgA, and IgG subclasses in lower titers. Our in vivo studies with KO mice elucidate a critical role for IFN-γ, but not IL-4, in host defense against C. albicans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases