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Chapter 7 : Physical Defenses and Nonspecific Immunity

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Abstract:

The low frequency of symptomatic cryptococcal infections, despite the presumably high frequency of exposure, suggests that physical barriers and nonspecific immunity provide adequate defenses to protect the host against infection. This chapter describes physical barriers such as skin, nasal passages, and eye, and humoral and cellular nonspecific defense mechanisms such as polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs), natural killer (NK) cells and macrophages that are believed to provide the first line of defense against cryptococcal infection. Antibody-mediated phagocytosis occurs through Fc receptors, which are constitutively expressed in macrophages, but it should be emphasized that opsonic capsule-binding antibody is not consistently present during human and animal infections. In human macrophages, complement-mediated binding is an energy-dependent process that requires three C3 complement receptors (CR1, CR3, and CR4) and actin but does not necessarily lead to phagocytosis. In summary, there is considerable evidence that macrophages from patients with AIDS are less effective against than are those from HIV-seronegative individuals. The relative importance of oxidative and nonoxidative antimicrobial mechanisms of host effector cells in inhibiting and killing is uncertain. In vivo, it is likely that the oxidative and nonoxidative antimicrobial mechanisms cooperate to produce the antifungal effects described for host effector cells.

Citation: Casadevall A, Perfect J. 1998. Physical Defenses and Nonspecific Immunity, p 177-222. In . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818241.ch7

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Figures

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Figure 1

Ultrastructural localization of C3 fragments bound to encapsulated . Yeast cells were incubated with normal human serum, and the site of C3 binding was identified by immunoperoxidase staining. Sites of C3 deposition are seen as dense staining throughout the capsule, particularly at the capsular surface. Photograph kindly provided by T. Kozel and adapted from reference .

Citation: Casadevall A, Perfect J. 1998. Physical Defenses and Nonspecific Immunity, p 177-222. In . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818241.ch7
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Image of Figure 2
Figure 2

Localization of C3 by immunofluorescence of cellular sites for early deposition of C3 fragments on non-encapsulated (top two rows) and encapsulated (bottom two rows) . Yeast cells were incubated with heat-inactivated serum (negative control) or incubated for 1, 2, 4, 6, or 8 min with normal serum and stained with fluorescein-labeled antiserum specific for human C3. Early synchronous activation and binding of C3 to nonencapsulated cryptococci is mediated by the classical complement pathway, which is initiated by ubiquitous antiglucan IgG antibody found in normal human serum ( ). The delayed, focal activation and binding of C3 to encapsulated cryptococci is mediated solely by the action of the alternative pathway ( ). Figure kindly provided by T. Kozel and adapted from reference .

Citation: Casadevall A, Perfect J. 1998. Physical Defenses and Nonspecific Immunity, p 177-222. In . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818241.ch7
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Figure 3

Electron micrograph of human microglia containing numerous cells. Micrograph obtained at a magnification of × 12,000. In the presence of capsule-specific antibody, human microglia avidly phagocytose yeast cells and mediate fungistatic effects in vitro ( ). Micrograph kindly provided by S. Lee (Bronx, N.Y.).

Citation: Casadevall A, Perfect J. 1998. Physical Defenses and Nonspecific Immunity, p 177-222. In . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818241.ch7
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Figure 4

(A) Electron micrograph of a section of mouse lung 14 days after infection, showing an eosinophil in direct contact with a cell. The arrow indicates electron-dense material that may originate from eosinophil granule contents discharged in response to eosinophil- contact. Magnification, ×10,000. (Β) Multiple eosinophils (denoted by white X's) surround a cell in mouse lung. Micrograph obtained at a magnification of ×3,000. Figure adapted from reference .

Citation: Casadevall A, Perfect J. 1998. Physical Defenses and Nonspecific Immunity, p 177-222. In . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818241.ch7
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Tables

Generic image for table
Table 1

Studies demonstrating macrophage efficacy against

E:T ratio, effector-to-target ratio. In these assays the “effector” is the macrophage and the target cells are the cryptococci.

Citation: Casadevall A, Perfect J. 1998. Physical Defenses and Nonspecific Immunity, p 177-222. In . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818241.ch7
Generic image for table
Table 2

Antimicrobial mechanisms of phagocytic cells against

Citation: Casadevall A, Perfect J. 1998. Physical Defenses and Nonspecific Immunity, p 177-222. In . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818241.ch7

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