Cryptococci at the brain gate

Break and enter or use a Trojan horse?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The mechanism by which Cryptococcus neoformans invades the central nervous system is fundamental for understanding pathogenesis because cryptococcosis commonly presents as meningoencephalitis. There is evidence for both direct invasion of the endothelial cells lining the brain vasculature and a "Trojan horse" mechanism whereby cryptococci enter the central nervous system after macrophage ingestion. However, in this issue of the JCI, Shi et al. use intravital microscopy to reveal that brain invasion by C. neoformans follows a capillary microembolic event. They find that after suddenly stopping in brain capillaries, cryptococci cross into the central nervous system in a process that is urease dependent, requires viability, and involves cellular deformation. This observation provides evidence for direct brain invasion by C. neoformans, but a consideration of all the currently available evidence suggests a role for both direct and phagocyte-associated invasion. Hence, the remarkable neurotropism of C. neoformans may have more than one mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1389-1392
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Volume120
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 3 2010
Externally publishedYes

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Cryptococcus
Cryptococcus neoformans
Central Nervous System
Brain
Cryptococcosis
Meningoencephalitis
Urease
Phagocytes
Endothelial Cells
Eating
Macrophages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Cryptococci at the brain gate : Break and enter or use a Trojan horse? / Casadevall, Arturo.

In: Journal of Clinical Investigation, Vol. 120, No. 5, 03.05.2010, p. 1389-1392.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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