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1.  Circulating CD4 and CD8 T cells have little impact on host defense against experimental vaginal candidiasis. 
Infection and Immunity  1995;63(7):2403-2408.
The etiology of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis in otherwise healthy women of child-bearing age remains an enigma. To date, results from both clinical studies and a murine model of vaginal candidiasis indicate that Candida vaginitis can occur in the presence of Candida-specific Th1-type cell-mediated immunity expressed in the peripheral circulation. The present study was designed to determine the role of circulating CD4 and CD8 cells in primary and secondary vaginal infections with Candida albicans. Vaginal fungal burden, Candida-specific delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH), and lymph node cell Th1/Th2 cytokine production were monitored in CD4 and/or CD8 cell-depleted mice during persistent primary vaginal infections and secondary vaginal infections against which partial protection was observed. Treatment of mice with anti-CD4 or anti-CD8 antibodies resulted in 90% or greater depletion of the respective cell populations. Mice depleted of CD4 cells had significantly reduced Candida-specific DTH and lymph node cell Th1-type cytokine production during a primary vaginal infection, as well as reduced anamnestic DTH during a secondary vaginal infection. In contrast, mice depleted of CD8 cells showed only reduced gamma interferon production during a primary infection; no alterations in DTH were observed. Despite reductions in DTH and cytokine production, however, CD4 and/or CD8 cell depletion had no effect on vaginal C. albicans burden in mice after a primary or secondary vaginal inoculation. Taken together, these results suggest that while circulating CD4 and CD8 cells contribute to systemic Candida-specific cell-mediated immunity in vaginally infected mice, neither CD4 nor CD8 circulating T cells appear to provide significant host defenses against C. albicans at the vaginal mucosa.
PMCID: PMC173321  PMID: 7790050
2.  Cell Adhesion Molecule and Lymphocyte Activation Marker Expression during Experimental Vaginal Candidiasis 
Infection and Immunity  2001;69(8):5072-5079.
Cell-mediated immunity by Th1-type CD4+ T cells is the predominant host defense mechanism against mucosal candidiasis. However, studies using an estrogen-dependent murine model of vaginal candidiasis have demonstrated little to no change in resident vaginal T cells during infection and no systemic T-cell infiltration despite the presence of Candida-specific systemic Th1-type responses in infected mice. The present study was designed to further investigate these observations by characterizing T-cell activation and cell adhesion molecule expression during primary and secondary C. albicans vaginal infections. While flow cytometry analysis of activation markers showed some evidence for activation of CD3+ draining lymph node and/or vaginal lymphocytes during both primary and secondary vaginal Candida infection, CD3+ cells expressing the homing receptors and integrins α4β7, αM290β7, and α4β1 in draining lymph nodes of mice with primary and secondary infections were reduced compared to results for uninfected mice. At the local level, few vaginal lymphocytes expressed integrins, with only minor changes observed during both primary and secondary infections. On the other hand, immunohistochemical analysis of vaginal cell adhesion molecule expression showed increases in mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule 1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 expression during both primary and secondary infections. Altogether, these data suggest that although the vaginal tissue is permissive to cellular infiltration during a vaginal Candida infection, the reduced numbers of systemic cells expressing the reciprocal cellular adhesion molecules may preempt cellular infiltration, thereby limiting Candida-specific T-cell responses against infection.
doi:10.1128/IAI.69.8.5072-5079.2001
PMCID: PMC98602  PMID: 11447188
3.  Effects of systemic cell-mediated immunity on vaginal candidiasis in mice resistant and susceptible to Candida albicans infections. 
Infection and Immunity  1995;63(10):4191-4194.
Studies to date with CBA/J mice suggest a limited role for systemic cell-mediated immunity (CMI) against vaginal Candida albicans infections. The results of the present study show that preinduced Candida-specific systemic CMI was equally nonprotective against C. albicans vaginal infections in mice with high (BALB/cJ), low (DBA/2), or intermediate (CBA/J) resistance to C. albicans infections. Similarly, the locally acquired partial protection against a second C. albicans vaginal infection was equally observed with BALB/cJ, DBA/2, and CBA/J mice. These results indicate that observations made previously with CBA/J mice were not murine strain specific and provide additional support for the hypothesis that systemic CMI does not represent a dominant host defense mechanism at the vaginal mucosa.
PMCID: PMC173593  PMID: 7558342
4.  Local Production of Chemokines during Experimental Vaginal Candidiasis 
Infection and Immunity  1999;67(11):5820-5826.
Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis, caused by Candida albicans, is a significant problem in women of childbearing age. Although cell-mediated immunity (CMI) due to T cells and cytokines is the predominant host defense mechanism against C. albicans at mucosal tissue sites, host defense mechanisms against C. albicans at the vaginal mucosa are poorly understood. Based on an estrogen-dependent murine model of vaginal candidiasis, our data suggest that systemic CMI is ineffective against C. albicans vaginal infections. Thus, we have postulated that local immune mechanisms are critical for protection against infection. In the present study, the kinetic production of chemokines normally associated with the chemotaxis of T cells, macrophages (RANTES, MIP-1α, MCP-1), and polymorphonuclear neutrophils (MIP-2) was examined following intravaginal inoculation of C. albicans in estrogen-treated or untreated mice. Results showed significant increases in MCP-1 protein and mRNA in vaginal tissue of infected mice as early as 2 and 4 days postinoculation, respectively, that continued through a 21-day observation period, irrespective of estrogen status. No significant changes were observed with RANTES, MIP-1α, or MIP-2, although relatively high constitutive levels of RANTES mRNA and MIP-2 protein were observed. Furthermore, intravaginal immunoneutralization of MCP-1 with anti-MCP-1 antibodies resulted in a significant increase in vaginal fungal burden early during infection, suggesting that MCP-1 plays some role in reducing the fungal burden during vaginal infection. However, the lack of changes in leukocyte profiles in vaginal lavage fluids collected from infected versus uninfected mice suggests that MCP-1 functions to control vaginal C. albicans titers in a manner independent of cellular chemotactic activity.
PMCID: PMC96961  PMID: 10531235
5.  Rats clearing a vaginal infection by Candida albicans acquire specific, antibody-mediated resistance to vaginal reinfection. 
Infection and Immunity  1995;63(7):2619-2624.
Oophorectomized, estrogen-treated rats were susceptible to experimental vaginal infection by Candida albicans. After spontaneous clearing of the primary infection, the animals were highly resistant to a second vaginal challenge with the fungus. The vaginal fluid of Candida-resistant rats contained antibodies directed against mannan constituents and secretory aspartyl proteinase(s) of C. albicans and was capable of transferring a degree of anti-Candida protection to naive, nonimmunized rats. This passive protection was mediated by the immunoglobulin fraction of the vaginal fluid and was substantially abolished by preabsorption of the vaginal fluid with C. albicans, but not with Saccharomyces cerevisiae, cells. Vaginal anti-mannan antibodies were also produced by active immunization with heat-killed cells of C. albicans or with a mannan extract when administered via the vaginal route. The protection conferred was comparable to that resulting from clearing of the primary infection. In summary, the data suggest that acquired anticandidal protection in this vaginitis model is mediated at least in part by antibodies, among which those directed against the mannan antigen(s) might play a dominant role.
PMCID: PMC173351  PMID: 7790077
6.  Use of cellular depletion analysis to examine circulation of immune effector function between the vagina and the periphery. 
Infection and Immunity  1997;65(9):3939-3943.
Results from an animal model of vaginal candidiasis suggest that Candida-specific cell-mediated immunity in the systemic circulation does not mediate protection against vaginitis. The present study used cellular depletion analysis to examine the circulation of immune effector function between the vagina and the periphery. Results showed that anti-Thy-1.2 antibodies given intravenously to mice depleted Thy-1+ T lymphocytes in the systemic compartment but not in the vaginal mucosa, while the same antibodies injected intravaginally significantly reduced Thy-1+ T cells in both the vaginal and systemic compartments. These results support a lack or low level of circulation of immune effector function from the periphery to the vaginal mucosa.
PMCID: PMC175562  PMID: 9284175
7.  Vaginal and Oral Epithelial Cell Anti-Candida Activity  
Infection and Immunity  2002;70(12):7081-7088.
Candida albicans is the causative agent of acute and recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), a common mucosal infection affecting significant numbers of women in their reproductive years. While any murine host protective role for cell-mediated immunity (CMI), humoral immunity, and innate resistance by neutrophils against the vaginal infection appear negligible, significant in vitro growth inhibition of Candida species by vaginal and oral epithelial cell-enriched cells has been observed. Both oral and vaginal epithelial cell anti-Candida activity has a strict requirement for cell contact to C. albicans with no role for soluble factors, and oral epithelial cells inhibit C. albicans through a cell surface carbohydrate moiety. The present study further evaluated the inhibitory mechanisms by murine vaginal epithelial cells and the fate of C. albicans by oral and vaginal epithelial cells. Similar to human oral cells, anti-Candida activity produced by murine vaginal epithelial cells is unaffected by enzymatic cleavage of cell surface proteins and lipids but sensitive to periodic acid cleavage of surface carbohydrates. Analysis of specific membrane carbohydrate moieties, however, showed no role for sulfated polysaccharides, sialic acid residues, or glucose and mannose-containing carbohydrates, also similar to oral cells. Staining for live and dead Candida in the coculture with fluorescein diacetate (FDA) and propidium iodide (PI), respectively, showed a clear predominance of live organisms, suggesting a static rather than cidal action. Together, the results suggest that oral and vaginal epithelial cells retard or arrest the growth rather than kill C. albicans through an as-yet-unidentified carbohydrate moiety in a noninflammatory manner.
doi:10.1128/IAI.70.12.7081-7088.2002
PMCID: PMC133056  PMID: 12438389
8.  Analysis of Vaginal Cell Populations during Experimental Vaginal Candidiasis 
Infection and Immunity  1999;67(6):3135-3140.
Studies with an estrogen-dependent murine model of vaginal candidiasis suggest that local cell-mediated immunity (CMI) is more important than systemic CMI for protection against vaginitis. The present study, however, showed that, compared to uninfected mice, little to no change in the percentage or types of vaginal T cells occurred during a primary vaginal infection or during a secondary vaginal infection where partial protection was observed. Furthermore, depletion of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) had no effect on infection in the presence or absence of pseudoestrus. These results indicate a lack of demonstrable effects by systemic CMI or PMN against vaginitis and suggest that if local T cells are important, they are functioning without showing significant increases in numbers within the vaginal mucosa during infection.
PMCID: PMC96633  PMID: 10338532
9.  Cytokine and Chemokine Production by Human Oral and Vaginal Epithelial Cells in Response to Candida albicans  
Infection and Immunity  2002;70(2):577-583.
Oropharyngeal and vaginal candidiases are the most common forms of mucosal fungal infections and are primarily caused by Candida albicans, a dimorphic fungal commensal organism of the gastrointestinal and lower female reproductive tracts. Clinical and experimental observations suggest that local immunity is important in host defense against candidiasis. Accordingly, cytokines and chemokines are present at the oral and vaginal mucosa during C. albicans infections. Since mucosal epithelial cells produce a variety of cytokines and chemokines in response to microorganisms and since C. albicans is closely associated with mucosal epithelial cells as a commensal, we sought to identify cytokines and/or chemokines produced by primary oral and vaginal epithelial cells and cell lines in response to C. albicans. The results showed that proinflammatory cytokines were produced by oral and/or vaginal epithelial cells at various levels constitutively with considerable interleukin-1α (IL-1α) and tumor necrosis factor alpha, but not IL-6, produced in response to C. albicans. In contrast, Th1-type (IL-12 and gamma interferon) and Th2-type-immunoregulatory (IL-10 and transforming growth factor β) cytokines and the chemokines monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 and IL-8 were produced in low to undetectable concentrations with little additional production in response to C. albicans. Taken together, these results indicate that cytokines and chemokines are variably produced by oral and vaginal epithelial cells constitutively, as well as in response to C. albicans, and are predominated by proinflammatory cytokines.
doi:10.1128/IAI.70.2.577-583.2002
PMCID: PMC127706  PMID: 11796585
10.  Effects of preinduced Candida-specific systemic cell-mediated immunity on experimental vaginal candidiasis. 
Infection and Immunity  1994;62(3):1032-1038.
It has been postulated that systemic cell-mediated immunity (CMI) is an important host defense factor against recurrent vaginal infections caused by Candida albicans. Using an estrogen-dependent murine model of vaginal candidiasis, we have previously shown that mice inoculated vaginally with C. albicans acquire a persistent vaginal infection and develop Candida-specific Th1-type systemic CMI. In the present study, experimental vaginitis was monitored in the presence of preinduced systemic Candida-specific CMI. Mice immunized systemically with C. albicans culture filtrate antigens (CaCF) in complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) had Th1-type reactivity similar to that of vaginally infected mice. CaCF given to mice intravenously induced Candida-specific suppressor T (Ts) cells. Mice preimmunized with CaCF-CFA and given a vaginal inoculum of C. albicans had positive delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reactivity from the time of vaginal inoculation through 4 weeks. Conversely, mice infected in the presence of Ts cells had significantly reduced DTH responses throughout the 4-week period in comparison with naive infected mice. However, the presence of Th1-type Candida-specific DTH cells or Ts cells, either induced in mice prior to vaginal inoculation or adoptively transferred at the time of inoculation, had no effect on the vaginal Candida burden through 4 weeks of infection. A similar lack of effects was obtained in animals with lower Candida population levels resulting from a reduction in or absence of exogenous estrogen. These results suggest that systemic Th1-type CMI demonstrable with CaCF is unrelated to protective events at the level of the vaginal mucosa.
PMCID: PMC186220  PMID: 8112837
11.  Vaginal yeast colonisation, prevalence of vaginitis, and associated local immunity in adolescents 
Objectives: To evaluate point prevalence vaginal yeast colonisation and symptomatic vaginitis in middle adolescents and to identify relation of these yeast conditions with reproductive hormones, sexual activity, sexual behaviours, and associated local immunity.
Methods: Middle adolescent females (n = 153) were evaluated for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), asymptomatic yeast colonisation, and symptomatic vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) by standard criteria. Also evaluated were local parameters, including vaginal associated cytokines, chemokines, and antibodies, vaginal epithelial cell antifungal activity, and Candida specific peripheral blood lymphocyte responses. Correlations between yeast colonisation/vaginitis and local immunomodulators, reproductive hormones, douching, sexual activity, condom use, and STIs were identified.
Results: Rates of point prevalence asymptomatic yeast colonisation (22%) were similar to adults and similarly dominated by Candida albicans, but with uncharacteristically high vaginal yeast burden. In contrast with the high rate of STIs (18%), incidence of symptomatic VVC was low (<2%). Immunological properties included high rates of Candida specific systemic immune sensitisation, a Th2 type vaginal cytokine profile, total and Candida specific vaginal antibodies dominated by IgA, and moderate vaginal epithelial cell anti-Candida activity. Endogenous reproductive hormones were in low concentration. Sexual activity positively correlated with vaginal yeast colonisation, whereas vaginal cytokines (Th1, Th2, proinflammatory), chemokines, antibodies, contraception, douching, or condom use did not.
Conclusion: Asymptomatic vaginal yeast colonisation in adolescents is distinct in some ways with adults, and positively correlates with sexual activity, but not with local immunomodulators or sexual behaviours. Despite several factors predictive for VVC, symptomatic VVC was low compared to STIs.
doi:10.1136/sti.2002.003855
PMCID: PMC1758371  PMID: 14755036
12.  Candida-specific cell-mediated immunity is demonstrable in mice with experimental vaginal candidiasis. 
Infection and Immunity  1993;61(5):1990-1995.
Women with recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis often demonstrate a down-regulation of cell-mediated immunity (CMI) to Candida albicans detected by a lack of cutaneous delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) to Candida antigens. However, the role of systemic CMI as a host defense mechanism against recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis is not well understood, in part because of the lack of a well-defined murine model of vaginal candidiasis. The present study was undertaken to determine: (i) whether soluble Candida culture filtrate antigens (CaCF) could be used to induce and detect Candida-specific CMI in mice and (ii) whether these antigens would be useful in detecting systemic CMI in mice given an experimental Candida vaginal infection. To this end, mice were immunized subcutaneously with CaCF in complete Freund's adjuvant, and within 7 days they developed Candida-specific DTH reactivity detected by footpad swelling (increase in footpad thickness, 0.36 mm) 24 h after footpad challenge with CaCF. Adoptive transfer studies showed that the DTH responsiveness was elicited by CD4+ DTH T cells. In mice given a vaginal inoculum of C. albicans blastoconidia (5 x 10(5)), footpad challenge with CaCF resulted in positive DTH responses (0.24 mm) as early as 1 week, responses similar to immunization in 2 to 3 weeks (0.33 mm), and sustained low levels of DTH reactivity (0.15 mm) through 10 weeks of vaginal infection. Vaginal lavage cultures revealed that peak vaginal Candida burden occurred 1 week post-vaginal inoculation (10(5) CFU) and declined 16-fold by week 10. These results provide evidence that Candida-specific systemic CMI is generated and can be detected longitudinally in mice with Candida vaginitis by a multiantigen preparation of Candida organisms which both initiates and detects Candida-specific CMI.
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PMCID: PMC280793  PMID: 8097493
13.  Candida albicans forms biofilms on the vaginal mucosa 
Microbiology  2010;156(Pt 12):3635-3644.
Current understanding of resistance and susceptibility to vulvovaginal candidiasis challenges existing paradigms of host defence against fungal infection. While abiotic biofilm formation has a clearly established role during systemic Candida infections, it is not known whether C. albicans forms biofilms on the vaginal mucosa and the possible role of biofilms in disease. In vivo and ex vivo murine vaginitis models were employed to examine biofilm formation by scanning electron and confocal microscopy. C. albicans strains included 3153A (lab strain), DAY185 (parental control strain), and mutants defective in morphogenesis and/or biofilm formation in vitro (efg1/efg1 and bcr1/bcr1). Both 3153A and DAY815 formed biofilms on the vaginal mucosa in vivo and ex vivo as indicated by high fungal burden and microscopic analysis demonstrating typical biofilm architecture and presence of extracellular matrix (ECM) co-localized with the presence of fungi. In contrast, efg1/efg1 and bcr1/bcr1 mutant strains exhibited weak or no biofilm formation/ECM production in both models compared to wild-type strains and complemented mutants despite comparable colonization levels. These data show for the first time that C. albicans forms biofilms in vivo on vaginal epithelium, and that in vivo biotic biofilm formation requires regulators of biofilm formation (BCR1) and morphogenesis (EFG1).
doi:10.1099/mic.0.039354-0
PMCID: PMC3068702  PMID: 20705667
14.  Investigations by Cell-Mediated Immunologic Tests and Therapeutic Trials With Thymopentin in Vaginal Mycoses 
Objective: According to unsatisfactory therapeutic results in patients with chronically recurrent vaginal candidosis, we investigated if immunologic patient factors could be found and treated.
Methods: In 42 women with chronically recurrent and 20 women with acute Candida albicans vulvovaginitis, as well as 14 women with C. glabrata vaginitis, the following investigations were carried out: identification of yeast species; quantification of T lymphocytes and their subpopulations in sera; proliferation tests of T lymphocytes in vitro; treatment of 18 patients with chronically recurrent vaginal candidosis with the synthetic T-lymphocyte- stimulator thymopentin; and, finally, control of the above-mentioned parameters in the clinical course.
Results: Women with C. albicans vulvovaginitis showed fewer T lymphocytes and subpopulations in the peripheral blood than healthy women. Only the number of non-specific killer (NK) cells, however, was significantly lower in cases of acute C. albicans vulvovaginitis. In women with C. glabrata vaginitis, the number of T lymphocytes in the blood was within the normal range. In vitro proliferation tests using mitogens, bacterial antigens, and commercially available candida antigens with and without addition of thymopentin were carried out on the T lymphocytes of women with chronically recurrent C. albicans vulvovaginitis. These tests revealed no significant differences compared with the other patients with C. albicans infections. The patients were treated with thymopentin. Those women who revealed an increase of initially low numbers of T-helper cells recovered from vaginal candidosis after thymopentin treatment.
Conclusions: The peripheral T lymphocytes may be diminished in patients with chronically recurrent C. albicans vaginitis, and immunologic treatment can reduce the relapse rate.
doi:10.1155/S1064744996000439
PMCID: PMC2364501  PMID: 18476097
15.  Effects of Reproductive Hormones on Experimental Vaginal Candidiasis 
Infection and Immunity  2000;68(2):651-657.
Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is an opportunistic mucosal infection caused by Candida albicans that affects large numbers of otherwise healthy women of childbearing age. Acute episodes of VVC often occur during pregnancy and during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, when levels of progesterone and estrogen are elevated. Although estrogen-dependent experimental rodent models of C. albicans vaginal infection are used for many applications, the role of reproductive hormones and/or their limits in the acquisition of vaginal candidiasis remain unclear. This study examined the effects of estrogen and progesterone on several aspects of an experimental infection together with relative cell-mediated immune responses. Results showed that while decreasing estrogen concentrations eventually influenced infection-induced vaginal titers of C. albicans and rates of infection in inoculated animals, the experimental infection could not be achieved in mice treated with various concentrations of progesterone alone. Furthermore, progesterone had no effect on (i) the induction and persistence of the infection in the presence of estrogen, (ii) delayed-type hypersensitivity in primary-infected mice, or (iii) the partial protection from a secondary vaginal infection under pseudoestrus conditions. Other results with estrogen showed that a persistent infection could be established with a wide range of C. albicans inocula under supraphysiologic and near-physiologic (at estrus) concentrations of estrogen and that vaginal fungus titers or rates of infection were similar if pseudoestrus was initiated several days before or after inoculation. However, the pseudoestrus state had to be maintained for the infection to persist. Finally, estrogen was found to reduce the ability of vaginal epithelial cells to inhibit the growth of C. albicans. These results suggest that estrogen, but not progesterone, is an important factor in hormone-associated susceptibility to C. albicans vaginitis.
PMCID: PMC97188  PMID: 10639429
16.  Candida-Specific Antibodies during Experimental Vaginal Candidiasis in Mice  
Infection and Immunity  2002;70(10):5790-5799.
Protective host defense mechanisms against vaginal Candida albicans infections are poorly understood. Although cell-mediated immunity (CMI) is the predominant host defense mechanism against most mucosal Candida infections, the role of CMI against vaginal candidiasis is uncertain, both in humans and in an experimental mouse model. The role of humoral immunity is equally unclear. While clinical observations suggest a minimal role for antibodies against vaginal candidiasis, an experimental rat model has provided evidence for a protective role for Candida-specific immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibodies. Additionally, Candida vaccination-induced IgM and IgG3 antibodies are protective in a mouse model of vaginitis. In the present study, the role of infection-induced humoral immunity in protection against experimental vaginal candidiasis was evaluated through the quantification of Candida-specific IgA, IgG, and IgM antibodies in serum and vaginal lavage fluids of mice with primary and secondary (partially protected) infection. In naïve mice, total, but not Candida-specific, antibodies were detected in serum and lavage fluids, consistent with lack of yeast colonization in mice. In infected mice, Candida-specific IgA and IgG antibodies were induced in serum with anamnestic responses to secondary infection. In lavage fluid, while Candida-specific antibodies were detectable, concentrations were extremely low with no anamnestic responses in mice with secondary infection. The incorporation of alternative protocols—including infections in a different strain of mice, prolongation of primary infection prior to secondary challenge, use of different enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay capture antigens, and concentration of lavage fluid—did not enhance local Candida-specific antibody production or detection. Additionally, antibodies were not removed from lavage fluids by being bound to Candida during infection. Together, these data suggest that antibodies are not readily present in vaginal secretions of infected mice and thus have a limited natural protective role against infection.
doi:10.1128/IAI.70.10.5790-5799.2002
PMCID: PMC128320  PMID: 12228309
17.  Candida-specific Th1-type responsiveness in mice with experimental vaginal candidiasis. 
Infection and Immunity  1993;61(10):4202-4207.
The role of systemic cell-mediated immunity (CMI) as a host defense mechanism in the vagina is poorly understood. Using a murine pseudoestrus model of experimental vaginal candidiasis, we previously found that animals given a vaginal inoculum of viable Candida albicans blastoconidia acquired a persistent vaginal infection and developed Candida-specific delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses. The present study was designed to characterize the peripheral CMI reactivity generated from the vaginal infection in mice and to determine whether pseudoestrus is a prerequisite for the induction of peripheral CMI reactivity. Mice treated or not treated with estrogen and given a vaginal inoculum of C. albicans blastoconidia were examined for 4 weeks for their vaginal Candida burden and peripheral CMI reactivity, including DTH responsiveness and in vitro Th1 (interleukin-2 [IL-2], gamma interferon [IFN-gamma]/Th2 (IL-4, IL-10)-type lymphokine production in response to Candida antigens. Results showed that although mice not treated with estrogen before being given a vaginal inoculum of C. albicans blastoconidia developed only a short-lived vaginal infection and harbored significantly fewer Candida CFU in the vagina compared with those given estrogen and then infected; DTH reactivity was equivalent in both groups. In vitro measurement of CMI reactivity further showed that lymph node cells from both estrogen- and non-estrogen-treated infected mice produced elevated levels of IL-2 and IFN-gamma in response to Candida antigens during the 4 weeks after vaginal inoculation. In contrast, lymph node cells from the same vaginally infected mice showed no IL-10 production and only small elevations of IL-4 during week 4 of infection. These results suggest that mice with experimental vaginal candidiasis develop predominantly Th1-type Candida-specific peripheral CMI reactivity and that similar patterns of Th1-type reactivity occur in mice regardless of the persistence of infection and the estrogen status of the infected mice.
PMCID: PMC281145  PMID: 8406809
18.  Cytokines in the host response to Candida vaginitis: Identifying a role for non-classical immune mediators, S100 alarmins 
Cytokine  2011;58(1):118-128.
Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), caused by Candida albicans, affects a significant number of women during their reproductive years. More than two decades of research have been focused on the mechanisms associated with susceptibility or resistance to symptomatic infection. Adaptive immunity by Th1-type CD4+ T cells and downstream cytokine responses are considered the predominant host defense mechanisms against mucosal Candida infections. However, numerous clinical and animal studies have indicated no or limited protective role of cells and cytokines of the Th1 or Th2 lineage against vaginal infection. The role for Th17 is only now begun to be investigated in-depth for VVC with results already showing significant controversy. On the other hand, a clinical live-challenge study and an established animal model have shown that a symptomatic condition is intimately associated with the vaginal infiltration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) but with no effect on vaginal fungal burden. Subsequent studies identified S100A8 and S100A9 Alarmins as key chemotactic mediators of the acute PMN response. These chemotactic danger signals appear to be secreted by vaginal epithelial cells upon interaction and early adherence of Candida. Thus, instead of a putative immunodeficiency against Candida involving classical immune cells and cytokines of the adaptive response, the pathological inflammation in VVC is now considered a consequence of a non-productive innate response initiated by non-classical immune mediators.
doi:10.1016/j.cyto.2011.11.021
PMCID: PMC3290723  PMID: 22182685
Candida albicans; vaginitis; epithelial cells; inflammation; S100A8; S100A9
19.  Immune Cell-Mediated Protection against Vaginal Candidiasis: Evidence for a Major Role of Vaginal CD4+ T Cells and Possible Participation of Other Local Lymphocyte Effectors  
Infection and Immunity  2002;70(9):4791-4797.
The protective roles of different lymphocyte subsets were investigated in a rat vaginal candidiasis model by adoptive transfer of vaginal lymphocytes (VL) or sorted, purified CD3+ T cells, CD4+ or CD8+ T cells, or CD3− CD5+ B cells from the vaginas of naïve or immune rats following three rounds of Candida albicans infection. The adoptive transfer of total VL from nonimmune animals did not alter the course of vaginal candidiasis of the recipient rats. In contrast, the animals receiving total VL or CD3+ T cells from immune rats showed a highly significant acceleration of fungus clearance compared with animals which received nonimmune VL. The animals with vaginal CD3− CD5+ B cells transferred from immune rats also had fewer Candida CFU than the controls, but fungal clearance was significantly retarded with respect to the animals administered immune T cells. Sorted, purified CD4+ and CD8+ vaginal T cells from immune rats were also adoptively transferred to naïve animals. Although both populations were seen to accelerate the clearance of the fungus from the vagina, CD4+ T cells were much more effective than CD8+ T cells. Overall, there was no difference between the antifungal effects of immune vaginal CD4+ T cells and those achievable with the transfer of whole, immune VL. Histological observations of the vaginal tissues of rats with adoptively transferred immune T cells demonstrated a remarkable accumulation of lymphocytes in the subepithelial lamina propria and also infiltrating the mucosal epithelium. These results strongly suggest that distinct vaginal lymphocyte subsets participate in the adaptive anti-Candida immunity at the vaginal level, with the vaginal CD4+ T cells probably playing a major role.
doi:10.1128/IAI.70.9.4791-4797.2002
PMCID: PMC128254  PMID: 12183521
20.  Role for Dendritic Cells in Immunoregulation during Experimental Vaginal Candidiasis  
Infection and Immunity  2006;74(6):3213-3221.
Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) caused by the commensal organism Candida albicans remains a significant problem among women of childbearing age, with protection against and susceptibility to infection still poorly understood. While cell-mediated immunity by CD4+ Th1-type cells is protective against most forms of mucosal candidiasis, no protective role for adaptive immunity has been identified against VVC. This is postulated to be due to immunoregulation that prohibits a more profound Candida-specific CD4+ T-cell response against infection. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of dendritic cells (DCs) in the induction phase of the immune response as a means to understand the initiation of the immunoregulatory events. Immunostaining of DCs in sectioned murine lymph nodes draining the vagina revealed a profound cellular reorganization with DCs becoming concentrated in the T-cell zone throughout the course of experimental vaginal Candida infection consistent with cell-mediated immune responsiveness. However, analysis of draining lymph node DC subsets revealed a predominance of immunoregulation-associated CD11c+ B220+ plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) under both uninfected and infected conditions. Staining of vaginal DCs showed the presence of both DEC-205+ and pDCs, with extension of dendrites into the vaginal lumen of infected mice in close contact with Candida. Flow cytometric analysis of draining lymph node DC costimulatory molecules and activation markers from infected mice indicated a lack of upregulation of major histocompatibility complex class II, CD80, CD86, and CD40 during infection, consistent with a tolerizing condition. Together, the results suggest that DCs are involved in the immunoregulatory events manifested during a vaginal Candida infection and potentially through the action of pDCs.
doi:10.1128/IAI.01824-05
PMCID: PMC1479243  PMID: 16714548
21.  Patterns of Expression of Vaginal T-Cell Activation Markers during Estrogen-Maintained Vaginal Candidiasis 
The immunosuppressive activity of estrogen was further investigated by assessing the pattern of expression of CD25, CD28, CD69, and CD152 on vaginal T cells during estrogen-maintained vaginal candidiasis. A precipitous and significant decrease in vaginal fungal burden toward the end of week 3 postinfection was concurrent with a significant increase in vaginal lymphocyte numbers. During this period, the percentage of CD3+, CD3+CD4+, CD152+, and CD28+ vaginal T cells gradually and significantly increased. The percentage of CD3+ and CD3+CD4+ cells increased from 43% and 15% at day 0 to 77% and 40% at day 28 postinfection. Compared with 29% CD152+ vaginal T cells in naive mice, > 70% of vaginal T cells were CD152+ at day 28 postinfection. In conclusion, estrogen-maintained vaginal candidiasis results in postinfection time-dependent changes in the pattern of expression of CD152, CD28, and other T-cell markers, suggesting that T cells are subject to mixed suppression and activation signals.
doi:10.1186/1710-1492-4-4-157
PMCID: PMC2868890  PMID: 20525139
CD28; CD152; estrogen; vaginal candidiasis; vaginal T lymphocytes
22.  Mice immunized by primary vaginal Candida albicans infection develop acquired vaginal mucosal immunity. 
Infection and Immunity  1995;63(2):547-553.
It has been postulated that systemic cell-mediated immunity (CMI) is an important host defense mechanism against Candida infections of the vagina. However, in an estrogen-dependent murine model of experimental vaginal candidiasis, we recently showed that systemic Candida-specific Th1-type CMI induced by immunization with Candida culture filtrate antigen had no effect on vaginal Candida population levels during the course of a vaginal infection. In the present study, mice given a second vaginal inoculation in the presence of peripheral Candida-specific Th1-type CMI induced by prior vaginal infection had anamnestic-type increased delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses, concomitant with significantly fewer Candida organisms in the vagina than in primary-infected mice. In addition, organisms in secondary-infected mice were fragmented and superficial penetration into the epithelium was reduced. The systemic presence of Candida-specific T suppressor (Ts) cells that significantly suppressed the infection-derived anamnestic DTH reactivity did not abrogate the protective effect in the vagina. Additional experiments showed that vaginally immunized mice were not protected from gastrointestinal or systemic candidiasis and, in contrast to mice with a second vaginal infection, did not demonstrate anamnestic DTH reactivity. These results suggest that a moderate level of local protection against a Candida vaginal infection can be achieved by vaginal immunization but that the protective role of acquired peripheral Candida-specific Th1-type reactivity at the vaginal mucosa appears to be limited.
PMCID: PMC173030  PMID: 7822020
23.  Women with recurrent vaginal candidosis have normal peripheral blood B and T lymphocyte subset levels. 
Genitourinary Medicine  1997;73(6):475-476.
OBJECTIVE: To compare the B and T lymphocyte subset levels of otherwise healthy women suffering from frequently recurrent vaginal candidosis with a healthy control group. SUBJECTS: 26 unselected otherwise healthy women of reproductive age with at least four attacks of vaginal candidosis in the past year and more than three vaginal isolates of a moderate or heavy growth of Candida albicans. Controls were 26 patients or clinical and laboratory staff (asymptomatic for genital infection) matched for time of day and age within 5 years. Only three patients accepted an HIV test. All proved HIV negative. No controls were tested. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: T lymphocyte subsets (CD4 and 8) and B lymphocytes (CD 19) as estimated from the total lymphocyte count and flow cytometry. RESULTS: No statistically significant difference between patients and controls. CONCLUSION: No significant difference was found between patients and controls in levels of lymphocyte subsets.
PMCID: PMC1195928  PMID: 9582464
24.  Chlamydia trachomatis Infection Does Not Enhance Local Cellular Immunity against Concurrent Candida Vaginal Infection 
Infection and Immunity  2001;69(5):3451-3454.
Although Th1-type cell-mediated immunity (CMI) is the predominant host defense mechanism against mucosal Candida albicans infection, CMI against a vaginal C. albicans infection in mice is limited at the vaginal mucosa despite a strong Candida-specific Th1-type response in the draining lymph nodes. In contrast, Th1-type CMI is highly effective against an experimental Chlamydia trachomatis genital tract infection. This study demonstrated through two independent designs that a concurrent Candida and Chlamydia infection could not accelerate or modulate the anti-Candida CMI response. Together, these results suggest that host responses to these genital tract infections are independent and not influenced by the presence of the other.
doi:10.1128/IAI.69.5.3451-3454.2001
PMCID: PMC98310  PMID: 11292774
25.  Resistance of T-Cell Receptor δ-Chain-Deficient Mice to Experimental Candida albicans Vaginitis 
Infection and Immunity  2001;69(11):7162-7164.
Conditions consistent with tolerance or immunoregulation have been observed in experimental Candida albicans vaginal infections. The present study investigated the role of γ/δ T cells in experimental vaginal candidiasis. Results showed that T-cell receptor δ-chain-knockout mice had significantly less vaginal fungal burden when compared to wild-type mice, suggesting an immunoregulatory role for γ/δ T cells in Candida vaginitis.
doi:10.1128/IAI.69.11.7162-7164.2001
PMCID: PMC100112  PMID: 11598094

Results 1-25 (1086419)