In a previous paper we demonstrated that human polymorphonuclear cells (PMN) in the presence of normal human serum (NHS) secrete proinflammatory cytokines in response to Cryptococcus neoformans or its major capsular component, glucuronoxylomannan (GXM). The hypothesis that activation of the complement system could be responsible for the observed phenomenon is supported by the fact that encapsulated and acapsular C. neoformans isolates are activators of the complement system and, in particular, large encapsulated isolates are powerful activators. In the present study we demonstrate that (i) interleukin-8 (IL-8) release in response to acapsular or encapsulated strains of C. neoformans is significantly reduced in the presence of heat-inactivated serum rather than NHS and is completely abrogated in the absence of human serum; (ii) GXM-induced IL-8 release is strictly dependent on the presence of NHS, is inhibited by specific antibodies to either C3a and C5 complement components, and is completely abrogated by the combined use of these antibodies; (iii) the addition of purified C3a and C5a directly stimulates IL-8 release by PMN; and (iv) monoclonal antibody to GXM in combination with GXM or encapsulated C. neoformans potentiates IL-8 release by PMN. These data shed light on the mechanism involved in GXM-induced IL-8 secretion by PMN, provide an additional potential role for complement in the control of C. neoformans infections, and suggest a complex interplay between the complement system, humoral immunity, and cytokine regulation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases