Candida albicans is the leading cause of systemic candidiasis, a fungal disease associated with high mortality and poor treatment options. The kidney is the target organ during infection and whose control is largely dependent on innate immunity, because lymphocytes appear redundant for protection. In this article, we show that this apparent redundancy stems from a failure of Ag-specific CD4(+) T cells to migrate into infected kidneys. In contrast, Ag-specific CD8(+) T cells are recruited normally. Using Ag-loaded immunoliposomes to artificially reverse this defective migration, we show that recruited Ag-specific CD4(+) T cells polarize toward a Th17 phenotype in the kidney and are protective during fungal infection. Therefore, our data explain the redundancy of CD4(+) T cells for defense against systemic infection with C. albicans and have important implications for our understanding of antifungal immunity and the control of renal infections.
Although Candida glabrata is an important pathogenic Candida species, relatively little is known about its innate immune recognition. Here we explore the potential role of Dectin-2 for host defense against C. glabrata. Dectin-2-deficient (Dectin-2(-/-)) mice were found to be more susceptible to C. glabrata infections, showing a defective fungal clearance in kidneys, but not in the liver. The increased susceptibility to infection was accompanied by lower production of T helper 1 (Th1) and Th17-derived cytokines by splenocytes of Dectin-2(-/-) mice, while macrophage-derived cytokines were less affected. These defects were associated with a moderate, yet significant, decreased phagocytosis of the fungus by the Dectin-2(-/-) macrophages and neutrophils. Neutrophils of Dectin-2(-/-) mice also displayed a lower production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) upon challenge with opsonized C. glabrata or C. albicans. This study suggests that Dectin-2 is important in host defense against C. glabrata and provides new insights in the host defense mechanisms against this important fungal pathogen.
Chromoblastomycosis is a chronic skin infection caused by the fungus Fonsecaea pedrosoi. Exploring the reasons underlying the chronic nature of F. pedrosoi infection in a murine model of chromoblastomycosis, we find that chronicity develops due to a lack of pattern recognition receptor (PRR) costimulation. F. pedrosoi was recognized primarily by C-type lectin receptors (CLRs), but not by Toll-like receptors (TLRs), which resulted in the defective induction of proinflammatory cytokines. Inflammatory responses to F. pedrosoi could be reinstated by TLR costimulation, but also required the CLR Mincle and signaling via the Syk/CARD9 pathway. Importantly, exogenously administering TLR ligands helped clear F. pedrosoi infection in vivo. These results demonstrate how a failure in innate recognition can result in chronic infection, highlight the importance of coordinated PRR signaling, and provide proof of the principle that exogenously applied PRR agonists can be used therapeutically.
The beta-glucan receptor Dectin-1 is an archetypical non-toll-like pattern recognition receptor expressed predominantly by myeloid cells, which can induce its own intracellular signalling and can mediate a variety of cellular responses, such as cytokine production. Recent identification of the components of these signalling pathways, such as Syk kinase, CARD9 and Raf-1, has provided novel insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying Dectin-1 function. Furthermore, a broader appreciation of the cellular responses mediated by this receptor and the effects of interactions with other receptors, including the TLRs, have greatly furthered our understanding of innate immunity and how this drives the development of adaptive immunity, particularly Th17 responses. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of Dectin-1 in anti-fungal immunity, in both mice and humans, and have suggested a possible involvement of this receptor in the control of mycobacterial infections.
Complement is an ancient danger-sensing system that contributes to host defense, immune surveillance and homeostasis. C5a and its G protein–coupled receptor mediate many of the proinflammatory properties of complement. Despite the key role of C5a in allergic asthma, autoimmune arthritis, sepsis and cancer, knowledge about its regulation is limited. Here we demonstrate that IgG1 immune complexes (ICs), the inhibitory IgG receptor Fc?RIIB and the C-type lectin–like receptor dectin-1 suppress C5a receptor (C5aR) functions. IgG1 ICs promote the association of Fc?RIIB with dectin-1, resulting in phosphorylation of Src homology 2 domain–containing inositol phosphatase (SHIP) downstream of Fc?RIIB and spleen tyrosine kinase downstream of dectin-1. This pathway blocks C5aR-mediated ERK1/2 phosphorylation, C5a effector functions in vitro and C5a-dependent inflammatory responses in vivo, including peritonitis and skin blisters in experimental epidermolysis bullosa acquisita. Notably, high galactosylation of IgG N-glycans is crucial for this inhibitory property of IgG1 ICs, as it promotes the association between Fc?RIIB and dectin-1. Thus, galactosylated IgG1 and Fc?RIIB exert anti-inflammatory properties beyond their impact on activating Fc?Rs.
CLECSF8 is a poorly characterized member of the "Dectin-2 cluster" of C-type lectin receptors and was originally thought to be expressed exclusively by macrophages. We show here that CLECSF8 is primarily expressed by peripheral blood neutrophils and monocytes and weakly by several subsets of peripheral blood dendritic cells. However, expression of this receptor is lost upon in vitro differentiation of monocytes into dendritic cells or macrophages. Like the other members of the Dectin-2 family, which require association of their transmembrane domains with signaling adaptors for surface expression, CLECSF8 is retained intracellularly when expressed in non-myeloid cells. However, we demonstrate that CLECSF8 does not associate with any known signaling adaptor molecule, including DAP10, DAP12, or the FcR? chain, and we found that the C-type lectin domain of CLECSF8 was responsible for its intracellular retention. Although CLECSF8 does not contain a signaling motif in its cytoplasmic domain, we show that this receptor is capable of inducing signaling via Syk kinase in myeloid cells and that it can induce phagocytosis, proinflammatory cytokine production, and the respiratory burst. These data therefore indicate that CLECSF8 functions as an activation receptor on myeloid cells and associates with a novel adaptor molecule. Characterization of the CLECSF8-deficient mice and screening for ligands using oligosaccharide microarrays did not provide further insights into the physiological function of this receptor.
The innate recognition of fungi by leukocytes is mediated by pattern recognition receptors (PRR), such as Dectin-1, and is thought to occur at the cell surface triggering intracellular signalling cascades which lead to the induction of protective host responses. In the lung, this recognition is aided by surfactant which also serves to maintain the balance between inflammation and pulmonary function, although the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Here we have explored pulmonary innate recognition of a variety of fungal particles, including zymosan, Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus, and demonstrate that opsonisation with surfactant components can limit inflammation by reducing host-cell fungal interactions. However, we found that this opsonisation does not contribute directly to innate fungal recognition and that this process is mediated through non-opsonic PRRs, including Dectin-1. Moreover, we found that pulmonary inflammatory responses to resting Aspergillus conidia were initiated by these PRRs in acidified phagolysosomes, following the uptake of fungal particles by leukocytes. Our data therefore provides crucial new insights into the mechanisms by which surfactant can maintain pulmonary function in the face of microbial challenge, and defines the phagolysosome as a novel intracellular compartment involved in the innate sensing of extracellular pathogens in the lung.
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