Involvement of CD14, toll-like receptors 2 and 4, and MyD88 in the host response to the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans in vivo

Lauren E. Yauch, Michael K. Mansour, Shmuel Shoham, James B. Rottman, Stuart M. Levitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The major capsular polysaccharide of Cryptococcus neoformans, glucuronoxylomannan (GXM), is recognized by Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), TLR4, and CD14. In these studies, mice deficient in CD14, TLR2, TLR4, and the TLR-associated adaptor protein, MyD88, were utilized to investigate the contribution of TLRs and CD14 to in vivo host defenses against C. neoformans. MyD88-/- mice had significantly reduced survival compared with wild-type C57BL/6 mice after intranasal (i.n.) and intravenous (i.v.) infection with live C. neoformans. CD14-/- mice had reduced survival when infected i.v., while TLR2-/- mice died significantly earlier after i.n. infection. Mortality was similar comparing TLR4 mutant C3H/HeJ mice and control C3H/HeOuJ mice following i.v. or i.n. challenge with C. neoformans. The course of pulmonary cryptococcosis was studied in more detail in the CD14 -/- TLR2-/-, and MyD88-/- mice. MyD88 -/- mice infected i.n. had higher numbers of CFU in the lungs as well as higher GXM levels in the sera and lungs 7 days after infection than wild-type mice did. Surprisingly, there were no major differences in the levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-10, IL-12p70, or gamma interferon in the lungs of C. neoformans-infected knockout mice compared with wild-type mice. Histopathologic analysis of the lungs on day 7 postinfection revealed minimal inflammation in all mouse groups. These studies demonstrate a major role for MyD88 and relatively minor roles for CD14 and TLR2 in the response to cryptococcal infection, with the decreased survival of MyD88 -/- mice correlating with increased numbers of lung CFU and serum and lung GXM levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5373-5382
Number of pages10
JournalInfection and immunity
Volume72
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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