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      Histoplasma capsulatum yeast phase-specific protein Yps3p induces Toll-like receptor 2 signaling

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          Histoplasma capsulatum is a common cause of fungal infection in certain geographic areas, and although most infections are asymptomatic, it is capable of causing histoplasmosis, a disseminated, life-threatening disease, especially in immunocompromised individuals. A deeper understanding of this host-pathogen interaction is needed to develop novel therapeutic strategies to counter lethal infection. Although several lines of evidence suggest that this fungus is neurotropic in HIV patients, little is known about the immunobiology of Histoplasma infection in the central nervous system [CNS]. The goal of the present study was to understand the innate neuroimmune mechanisms that recognize H. capsulatum during the initial stages of infection. Using a 293T stable cell line expressing murine Toll-like receptor 2 [TLR2], we show here that TLR2 recognizes H. capsulatum cell wall protein Yps3p and induces the activation of NF-κB. In further experiments, we tested the ability of Yps3p to induce signaling from TLR2 in primary microglial cells, the resident brain macrophages of the CNS. Our data show that H. capsulatum Yps3p induced TLR2 signaling in wild-type microglia, but not in microglia isolated from TLR2 KO mice, confirming that Yps3p is a ligand for TLR2. Furthermore, Yps3p-induced TLR2 signaling was suppressed by vaccinia virus-encoded TLR inhibitors. This is the first demonstration of a fungal protein serving as a TLR ligand and mediating signaling in primary brain cells.

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          Histoplasmosis: a Clinical and Laboratory Update

          Infection with Histoplasma capsulatum occurs commonly in areas in the Midwestern United States and Central America, but symptomatic disease requiring medical care is manifest in very few patients. The extent of disease depends on the number of conidia inhaled and the function of the host's cellular immune system. Pulmonary infection is the primary manifestation of histoplasmosis, varying from mild pneumonitis to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome. In those with emphysema, a chronic progressive form of histoplasmosis can ensue. Dissemination of H. capsulatum within macrophages is common and becomes symptomatic primarily in patients with defects in cellular immunity. The spectrum of disseminated infection includes acute, severe, life-threatening sepsis and chronic, slowly progressive infection. Diagnostic accuracy has improved greatly with the use of an assay for Histoplasma antigen in the urine; serology remains useful for certain forms of histoplasmosis, and culture is the ultimate confirming diagnostic test. Classically, histoplasmosis has been treated with long courses of amphotericin B. Today, amphotericin B is rarely used except for severe infection and then only for a few weeks, followed by azole therapy. Itraconazole is the azole of choice following initial amphotericin B treatment and for primary treatment of mild to moderate histoplasmosis.
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            Toll-like receptor 2 suppresses immunity against Candida albicans through induction of IL-10 and regulatory T cells.

            Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and TLR4 play a pivotal role in recognition of Candida albicans. We demonstrate that TLR2(-/-) mice are more resistant to disseminated Candida infection, and this is associated with increased chemotaxis and enhanced candidacidal capacity of TLR2(-/-) macrophages. Although production of the proinflammatory cytokines TNF, IL-1alpha, and IL-1beta is normal, IL-10 release is severely impaired in the TLR2(-/-) mice. This is accompanied by a 50% decrease in the CD4+CD25+ regulatory T (Treg) cell population in TLR2(-/-) mice. In vitro studies confirmed that enhanced survival of Treg cells was induced by TLR2 agonists. The deleterious role of Treg cells on the innate immune response during disseminated candidiasis was underscored by the improved resistance to this infection after depletion of Treg cells. In conclusion, C. albicans induces immunosuppression through TLR2-derived signals that mediate increased IL-10 production and survival of Treg cells. This represents a novel mechanism in the pathogenesis of fungal infections.
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              A46R and A52R from vaccinia virus are antagonists of host IL-1 and toll-like receptor signaling.

              Poxviruses employ many strategies to evade and neutralize the host immune response. In this study, we have identified two vaccinia virus ORFs, termed A46R and A52R, that share amino acid sequence similarity with the Toll/IL-1 receptor (TIR) domain, a motif that defines the IL-1/Toll-like receptor (TLR) superfamily of receptors, which have a key role in innate immunity and inflammation. When expressed in mammalian cells, the protein products of both ORFs were shown to interfere specifically with IL-1 signal transduction. A46R partially inhibited IL-1-mediated activation of the transcription factor NFkappaB, and A52R potently blocked both IL-1- and TLR4-mediated NFkappaB activation. MyD88 is a TIR domain-containing adapter molecule known to have a central role in both IL-1 and TLR4 signaling. A52R mimicked the dominant-negative effect of a truncated version of MyD88 on IL-1, TLR4, and IL-18 signaling but had no effect on MyD88-independent signaling pathways. Therefore, A46R and A52R are likely to represent a mechanism used by vaccinia virus of suppressing TIR domain-dependent intracellular signaling.

                Author and article information

                J Neuroinflammation
                Journal of Neuroinflammation
                BioMed Central
                7 July 2008
                : 5
                : 30
                [1 ]Center for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Translational Research, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
                [2 ]Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
                [3 ]Department of Radiology, Mayo MMC 292, University of Minnesota Medical School, 420 Delaware Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
                Copyright © 2008 Aravalli et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.




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