Paracoccidioides brasiliensisinteracts with dermal dendritic cells and keratinocytes in human skin and oral mucosa lesions

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Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is a systemic disease caused by the fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis and Paracoccidioides lutzii. In PCM the skin and oral mucosa are often affected. Dendritic cells and keratinocytes of the integument play a role in innate and adaptive immune response against pathogens, due to their function as antigen presenting cells. Aiming to verify the interaction of P. brasiliensis with these cell populations, we studied 52 skin and 47 oral mucosa samples taken from patients with proven diagnosis of PCM. The biopsies were subjected to immunohistochemical and/or immunofluorescence staining with anti-factor XIIIa (marker of dermal dendrocytes), anti-CD207 (marker of mature Langerhans cells), anti-pan cytokeratins (AE1-AE3) and anti-P. brasiliensis antibodies. Analyses with confocal laser microscopy were also performed for better visualization of the interaction between keratinocytes and the fungi. In sum, 42% of oral mucosa samples displayed yeast forms in Factor XIIIa dermal dendrocytes cytoplasm. Langerhans cells in skin and oral mucosa samples did not show yeast cells in their cytoplasm. In sum, 54% of skin and 60% of mucosal samples displayed yeast cells in the cytoplasm of keratinocytes. The parasitism of keratinocytes may represent a possible mechanism of evasion of the fungus to local immune mechanisms. Factor XIIIa dendrocytes and keratinocytes may be acting as antigen-presenting cells to fulfill the probably impaired function of Langerhans cells in skin and oral mucosa of human PCM.

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