Concanavalin-A induces IL-17 production during the course ofCandida albicansinfection

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In a previous study, our group verified that 100% of mice survived to a lethal dose of Candida albicans following pretreatment with concanavalin-A (Con-A) for 3 days. This work proposed to investigate whether treatment could mediate an adaptative immune response involving TH17 cells. A significant increase in IL-17 levels at 6 h postinfection was observed and was maintained up to 18 h in the Con-A group, whereas in control mice, a reduction in this cytokine was verified. In addition, TH17 cells develop in the presence of TGF-β, IL-1 β, and IL-6 that were increased significantly 2 h postinfection in Con-A-treated mice. Macrophages were involved in the process, engulfing greater numbers of yeast cells, and were activated through TNF-α and interferon-γ produced at significant levels at 2 h postinfection. A significant increase in IL-12 levels was also observed at 2 h postinfection. Thus, activated macrophages were probably more capable of killing and processing Candida antigens, signalizing an adaptative immune response. Macrophages from controls did not prevent yeast-to-hyphae transition and were partially destroyed, as shown in scanning microscopy. These results suggest that treatment with Con-A facilitated the triggering of TH17 and TH1 responses via IL-17 and IFN-γ production, leading to the resolution of C. albicans infection.

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