Microglial response to aspergillus flavus and candida albicans: Implications in endophthalmitis

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Journal of Fungi


Aspergillus flavus is the most common etiology of fungal endophthalmitis in India, while Candida albicans is the causative agent in the West. In this study, we determined the role of microglial cells in evoking an inflammatory response following an infection with A. flavus and C. albicans strains isolated from patients with endophthalmitis. Microglia (CHME-3) cells were infected with A. flavus and C. albicans and the expression of Toll-Like Receptors (TLRs), cytokines and Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) were assessed at various time intervals. A. flavus infected cells induced higher expressions of TLR-1,-2,-5,-6,-7 and-9 and cytokines such as IL-1α, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10 and IL-17. In contrast, C. albicans infected microglia induced only TLR-2 along with the downregulation of IL-10 and IL-17. The expression of MMP-9 (Matrix metalloproteinase-9) was however upregulated in both A. flavus and C. albicans infected microglia. These results indicate that microglial cells have the ability to incite an innate response towards endophthalmitis causing fungal pathogens via TLRs and inflammatory mediators. Moreover, our study highlights the differential responses of microglia towards yeast vs. filamentous fungi.

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