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1.  A Purified Capsular Polysaccharide Markedly Inhibits Inflammatory Response during Endotoxic Shock 
Infection and Immunity  2013;81(1):90-98.
Capsular material of the opportunistic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans is composed mainly of a polysaccharide named glucuronoxylomannan (GXM). In this study, the effects of GXM were analyzed in an in vivo experimental system of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced shock. Endotoxic shock was induced in mice by a single intraperitoneal injection of LPS from Escherichia coli. GXM treatment reduced the mortality of mice at early stages. Mice treated with LPS alone showed markedly increased plasma levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and IL-6, whereas mice that were also treated with GXM showed significantly lower plasma levels of these cytokines. This effect was related to a marked suppression of Akt and IκBα activation. Importantly, the inhibitory effect of GXM on proinflammatory cytokine secretion was reproduced by treatment with wortmannin, an inhibitor of the Akt transcription pathway. Our results indicate that GXM has a beneficial effect on endotoxic shock, resulting in a significant increase in the rate of survival by dampening the hyperinflammatory response.
PMCID: PMC3536145  PMID: 23090956
2.  Activation of the Alternative Complement Pathway by Fungal Melanins 
Melanins are complex biological pigments formed by the oxidative polymerization of phenolic and/or indolic compounds. These pigments have been implicated in the pathogenesis of some microbial infections, malignancies, degenerative disorders, and autoimmune diseases. Recent studies have demonstrated that melanins have antigenic and anti-inflammatory properties. These findings led us to further explore the interaction of melanins with the immune system. Melanin particles (“ghosts”) were isolated from in vitro-melanized Cryptococcus neoformans cells and Aspergillus niger conidia and then incubated in normal human serum containing 125I-labeled complement C3. The results demonstrated deposition of C3 fragments onto the melanin ghosts as early as 1 min after incubation, with maximum deposition occurring after 12 min for C. neoformans-derived melanin ghosts and after 25 min for A. niger-derived melanin ghosts. The blocking of classical pathway activation did not affect the kinetics or total deposition of C3 onto the melanin ghosts, indicating that melanins activate complement through the alternative pathway. Immunofluorescence analysis of lungs from BALB/c mice injected intratracheally with C. neoformans-derived melanin ghosts demonstrated deposition of C3 fragments onto the ghosts. Small granulomas were also observed surrounding the ghosts. However, melanization of the C. neoformans cell wall did not alter the kinetics or total deposition of C3 fragments onto the fungal cells. The finding that melanin surfaces can activate the complement system suggests a potential mechanism for the pathogenesis of some degenerative and/or autoimmune processes that involve melanized cells as well as another potential role for melanin in the virulence of melanin-producing microorganisms.
PMCID: PMC119864  PMID: 11777844
3.  Mannan-specific immunoglobulin G antibodies in normal human serum mediate classical pathway initiation of C3 binding to Candida albicans. 
Infection and Immunity  1997;65(9):3822-3827.
Candida albicans activates both the classical and alternative complement pathways. Previous studies found that immunoglobulin G (IgG) in normal human serum (NHS) mediates classical pathway initiation. The goal of this study was to determine the role of candidal mannan-specific human IgG antibodies in complement activation. Mannan was purified from the yeast cells, and naturally occurring antimannan IgG was isolated from pooled NHS or plasma samples by immunoaffinity chromatography. Early activation and binding of C3, characteristics of classical pathway activity, were abolished in yeast- or mannan-absorbed serum but could be restored to absorbed serum with added purified antimannan IgG in a dose-dependent manner. Microscopically, the immunofluorescence pattern of initial C3 binding was diffuse over the entire cell surface for yeast cells incubated in NHS or in mannan-absorbed NHS supplemented with antimannan IgG but was asynchronous and focal for yeast cells incubated in EGTA-treated or mannan-absorbed NHS. The antimannan IgG level in serum samples from 21 donors varied from 17 to 570 microg/ml of serum compared to 220 microg in pooled NHS samples. The rate of initial C3 binding to yeast cells correlated with the level of antimannan IgG in sera from different individuals (r2 = 0.94) and could be accelerated in sera containing lower amounts of antimannan IgG with exogenous antimannan IgG. These observations identify antimannan IgG as the initiator of classical pathway C3 deposition on C. albicans. Given the variability in the levels of antimannan antibodies in sera from different individuals, the presence or absence of these antibodies may be an important determinant of host resistance to disseminated candidiasis.
PMCID: PMC175545  PMID: 9284158
4.  Structure and biological activities of acapsular Cryptococcus neoformans 602 complemented with the CAP64 gene. 
Infection and Immunity  1997;65(5):1584-1592.
The extracellular polysaccharide capsule of Cryptococcus neoformans is a well-recognized virulence factor. Strain 602 is an acapsular clinical isolate of unknown serotype which has been widely used in studies of virulence and host-parasite interactions. In previous studies, strain 602 was compared with genetically unrelated strains of various serotypes because the wild-type equivalent of strain 602 was not available. We created an encapsulated strain, TYCC38-602, by transforming strain 602 with the CAP64 gene which was isolated from a serotype D strain. Serological tests and chemical analysis of the major polysaccharide capsule of TYCC38-602 indicated that strain 602 was originally derived from a serotype A strain. Restoration of the ability to produce a capsule enabled strain 602 to cause fatal infection in mice, whereas the acapsular strain 602 remained avirulent. Capsule-restored yeast cells of strain 602 activated the human complement system and bound C3 fragments in a manner that is characteristic of encapsulated cryptococci. In addition, the capsule in TYCC38-602 masked the ability of the organism to induce tumor necrosis factor alpha and subsequent nitric oxide synthase production in primed macrophage-like cells. These results indicate that the lack of capsule in strain 602 is the reason for its inability to cause fatal infection. Moreover, the acapsular phenotype accounts for differences in various biological activities of strain 602 compared to encapsulated strains. The results also indicate that the gene product of CAP64 does not contribute to serotype specificity of capsules in C. neoformans.
PMCID: PMC175178  PMID: 9125534
5.  Acute lethal toxicity following passive immunization for treatment of murine cryptococcosis. 
Infection and Immunity  1997;65(5):1800-1807.
Passive immunization with monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) specific for the major capsular polysaccharide of Cryptococcus neoformans alters the course of murine cryptococcosis. During studies of passive immunization for treatment of murine cryptococcosis, we noted the occurrence of an acute, lethal toxicity. Toxicity was characterized by scratching, lethargy, respiratory distress, collapse, and death within 20 to 60 min after injection of antibody. The toxic effect was observed only in mice with a cryptococcal infection and was reduced or absent in the early and late stages of disease. The clinical course and histopathology were consistent with those for shock. There was considerable variation between mouse strains in susceptibility to toxicity. Swiss Webster mice from the Charles River colony were most susceptible, followed by C3H/He, BALB/c, and C57BL/6 mice. DBA/2 mice and Swiss Webster mice from the Simonsen colony were resistant. Acute toxicity was mimicked by injection of preformed complexes of MAb and purified polysaccharide. The toxic effect was also produced by injection of MAbs into mice that were preloaded with polysaccharide. The toxic effect was not blocked by treatment of mice with chloropheniramine or anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha antibodies or by depletion of complement components via pretreatment with cobra venom factor. Toxicity was reduced by treatment of mice with high doses of epinephrine, dexamethasone, or chlorpromazine. Finally, the toxic effect was completely blocked by treatment of mice with the platelet-activating factor antagonist WEB 2170 BS or by pretreatment of mice with the liposome-encapsulated drug dichloromethylene diphosphonate, a procedure which depletes macrophages from the spleen and liver.
PMCID: PMC175220  PMID: 9125564
6.  Binding of Cryptococcus neoformans to heterologously expressed human complement receptors. 
Infection and Immunity  1997;65(3):931-935.
Previously, we demonstrated that monoclonal antibodies (MAb) directed against any of the three defined complement receptors (CR) for the third component of complement (CR1, CR3, and CR4) profoundly inhibited the binding of serum-opsonized Cryptococcus neoformans to monocyte-derived macrophages. These studies suggested either that a synergistic interaction between multiple CR was required for optimal binding of C. neoformans or that the MAb were exerting nonspecific effects (such as receptor coassociation). In the present studies, we took a novel approach to dissecting out the contributions of individual receptors to binding of a microbial pathogen. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells stably transfected with human CR1, CR3, or CR4 were challenged with serum-opsonized C. neoformans. We found that CHO cells transfected with any of the three receptors bound C. neoformans, with the avidity of binding to CR3 being the greatest followed in decreasing order by CR1 and CR4. Following binding of C. neoformans to transfected CHO cells, most organisms remained surface attached only, although for each receptor a significant percentage (18.5 to 27.3%) of C. neoformans was internalized. Both C. neoformans and sheep erythrocytes that were selectively opsonized with the fragments of the third component of complement, C3b and iC3b, were bound preferentially by CHO cells transfected with CR1 and CR3, respectively. These data establish CR1, CR3, and CR4 as receptors independently capable of binding C. neoformans opsonized with fragments of C3. Moreover, our study demonstrates the usefulness of transfected cell lines as a powerful tool for identifying the contribution of individual receptors to the binding of a microbial pathogen.
PMCID: PMC175071  PMID: 9038299
7.  Reactivity patterns and epitope specificities of anti-Cryptococcus neoformans monoclonal antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and dot enzyme assay. 
Infection and Immunity  1997;65(2):718-728.
Cryptococcus neoformans glucuronoxylomannans (GXM) are capsular polysaccharides important for virulence in cryptococcosis. This study used dot enzyme assays (DEA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) to determine the reactivity patterns of 21 murine monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) with structurally defined GXMs from five serotypes. The MAbs were categorized into eight groups on the basis of DEA and five groups on the basis of ELISA. MAbs 302, 339, and 439 were studied extensively for their binding to various native and chemically modified GXMs. Quantitative variation in the inhibitory effects of GXMs on the binding of MAbs 302, 339, and 439 were observed by competitive ELISA. O-Deacetylation of serotype A, B, and D GXM resulted in the complete loss of their inhibitory properties. Carboxyl group reduction of GXMs from serotypes A and D resulted in a significant decrease of inhibitory activity for MAb. Xylomannans and methyl glycosides exhibited no detectable inhibitory activity on MAb binding to GXM. The results indicate (i) the existence of five to eight MAb-defined distinct epitopes in C. neoformans GXM that can elicit antibody responses, (ii) MAb detection of antigenic variation within GXMs assigned to a particular serotype, (iii) good correspondence between the patterns of MAb reactivities and polyclonal rabbit factor sera, (iv) good agreement between MAb molecular structure and serotype reactivity, and (v) a dependence of the serotype reactivity profile for a given MAb on the technique used to measure binding.
PMCID: PMC176118  PMID: 9009335
8.  Purified capsular polysaccharide of Cryptococcus neoformans induces interleukin-10 secretion by human monocytes. 
Infection and Immunity  1996;64(7):2846-2849.
In this study, we demonstrated that purified capsular polysaccharide of Cryptococcus neoformans is a potent inducer of interleukin-10 (IL-10) secretion by human monocytes. Endogenous IL-10 was involved in regulating tumor necrosis factor alpha and IL-1beta secretion by human monocytes in response to encapsulated C. neoformans strains. Our results suggest a new immunosuppressive effect exerted by glucuronoxylomannan through the induction of IL-10, a potent downregulator of proinflammatory cytokines.
PMCID: PMC174153  PMID: 8698522
9.  Capsular polysaccharide of Cryptococcus neoformans induces proinflammatory cytokine release by human neutrophils. 
Infection and Immunity  1996;64(8):2897-2903.
Human polymorphonuclear leukocytes from normal subjects produced proinflammatory cytokines in response to stimulation with Cryptococcus neoformans yeast cells. The cytokines released after stimulation of neutrophils included interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), IL-6, IL-8 and tumor necrosis factor alpha. The magnitude of the cytokine response was related to the yeast capsule size. Cells of a large-capsule isolate stimulated release of greater amounts of cytokine than did a thinly encapsulated isolate, which, in turn, stimulated release of greater amounts of cytokine than an acapsular isolate. Cytokine release was also stimulated by supernatant fluids from cryptococcal cells that were preincubated with 10% human serum, suggesting the generation of a soluble mediator. The major capsular polysaccharide, glucuronoxylomannan, stimulated release of tumor necrosis factor alpha, IL-1beta, and IL-8 in a dose-dependent fashion. These results differ from previous studies of cytokine secretion by human monocytes in several important respects, including the importance of encapsulation in stimulation of cytokine secretion and the ability of purified glucuronoxylomannan to induce cytokine secretion.
PMCID: PMC174164  PMID: 8757810
10.  Distinct characteristics of initiation of the classical and alternative complement pathways by Candida albicans. 
Infection and Immunity  1996;64(8):3360-3368.
Candida albicans is a potent activator of the complement system. The objective of this study was to characterize factors that influence the kinetics for activation of C3 and binding of C3 fragments to C. albicans. Factors that were examined included the surface properties of the yeast and contributions of the classical and alternative complement pathways. The results showed that incubation of hydrophobic, hydrophilic, or germinating yeast cells in normal human serum (NHS) containing radiolabeled C3 led to immediate accumulation of C3 on all three cell types, although the rate of accumulation of C3 on germinating cells was lower. An examination of the sites for early C3 binding showed that classical pathway initiation led to immediate, synchronous binding over the entire cell surface. A blockade of the classical pathway by absorption of putative classical pathway initiators or by chelation of calcium limited activation to the alternative pathway. Binding of C3 solely via the alternative pathway was characterized by a significant lag in the initial binding kinetics. In the absence of classical pathway initiation, the early cellular sites for C3 binding appeared as random, asynchronous foci of C3 that appeared to expand with time. The factor(s) mediating rapid deposition of C3 that was characteristic of the classical pathway initiation was reciprocally cross-absorbed by hydrophilic and hydrophobic C. albicans but was not removed by absorption of NHS with Saccharomyces cerevisiae, encapsulated Cryptococcus neoformans, or nonencapsulated C. neoformans. Delayed binding of C3 produced by absorption of serum was largely reversed by addition to the absorbed serum of immunoglobulin G isolated from NHS, indicating a significant role for a naturally occurring anti-C. albicans immunoglobulin C. in classical pathway initiation.
PMCID: PMC174230  PMID: 8757876
11.  Influence of opsonization conditions on C3 deposition and phagocyte binding of large- and small-capsule Cryptococcus neoformans cells. 
Infection and Immunity  1996;64(6):2336-2338.
Previous studies demonstrated that, following opsonization with normal human serum (NHS), phagocytes bind greater numbers of small-capsule Cryptococcus neoformans cells than yeast cells with large capsules. The present study tested the hypothesis that suboptimal deposition of opsonic C3 fragments contributes to this disparity. C neoformans was grown under conditions promoting large or small capsules and was incubated at various concentrations in NHS. At low concentrations of yeast cells (125 cells per microl of NHS), the deposition of C3 fragments per unit of capsule volume and the binding of yeast cells to cultured human monocytes were similar for yeast cells having large and small capsules. However, at higher cell concentrations, large-capsule cells exhibited suboptimal coating with C3 fragments and markedly diminished monocyte binding compared with small-capsule cells. Thus, the inverse correlation between capsule size and phagocyte binding can be overcome by conditions promoting optimal C3 deposition.
PMCID: PMC174075  PMID: 8675346
12.  Serotyping of Cryptococcus neoformans by dot enzyme assay. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1996;34(2):466-470.
A method is described for the serotyping of Cryptococcus neoformans based on direct analysis of culture supernatants for the major type-specific capsular antigen, glucuronoxylomannan. Factor sera prepared by absorption of polyclonal rabbit antisera (Iatron Laboratories, Inc., Tokyo, Japan) or selected anti-C. neoformans monoclonal antibodies were used in a dot enzyme assay to detect the presence of antigen.
PMCID: PMC228824  PMID: 8789042
13.  Activation of the complement system by pathogenic fungi. 
Clinical Microbiology Reviews  1996;9(1):34-46.
Fungi have been studied as prototype activators of the complement cascade since the early 1900s. More recently, attention has focused on the role of the complement system in the pathogenesis of fungal infections. The interactions of Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida albicans with the complement system are the most widely characterized; however, all pathogenic fungi examined to date have the ability to initiate the complement cascade. The molecular mechanisms for initiation and regulation of the complement cascade differ from one fungus to another, most likely reflecting differences in the structure of the outer layers of the cell wall. The molecular bases for such differences remain to be identified. Studies of mycoses in experimental animals with induced or congenital deficiencies in the complement system demonstrate that complement is an important innate system for control of fungal infection. Contributions to host resistance include opsonization and generation of inflammatory mediators. Inflammation induced by chemotactic products of the complement system may contribute to the pathogenesis of some fungal infections.
PMCID: PMC172880  PMID: 8665475
14.  Adherence to and damage of endothelial cells by Cryptococcus neoformans in vitro: role of the capsule. 
Infection and Immunity  1995;63(11):4368-4374.
Escape from the intravascular compartment is likely a critical step in the development of hematogenously disseminated cryptococcal infections, such as meningitis. The capsule of Cryptococcus neoformans is considered to be a virulence factor because of its antiphagocytic properties. To further investigate the role of the capsule in escape from the intravascular compartment, we used isogenic strain pairs, an acapsular mutant, and an encapsulated clinical isolate to determine the effects of the capsule of C. neoformans on adherence to, phagocytosis by, and damage of endothelial cells in vitro. Acapsular C. neoformans adhered significantly more to endothelial cells and caused greater endothelial cell injury than did encapsulated organisms. Coating of an acapsular strain with cryptococcal glucuronoxylomannan decreased both adherence to and damage of endothelial cells by 61.7% +/- 9.1% and 76.6% +/- 10.2%, respectively. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated internalization of acapsular, but not encapsulated, organisms by endothelial cells. Internalization of an acapsular strain occurred through endothelial cell phagocytosis and was inhibited by cytochalasin D. Phagocytosis required a heat-labile serum factor, probably complement. These results suggest that acapsular or poorly encapsulated C. neoformans may be the form(s) that escapes from the vasculature during initiation of hematogenously disseminated disease.
PMCID: PMC173621  PMID: 7591072
15.  Downregulation by cryptococcal polysaccharide of tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-1 beta secretion from human monocytes. 
Infection and Immunity  1995;63(8):2919-2923.
The regulation by Cryptococcus neoformans encapsulation of interleukin 1 beta (IL-1 beta) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) production by human monocytes was investigated. By using encapsulated and acapsular C. neoformans, we demonstrated that both strains induce cytokine production, although the acapsular strain was a better stimulator than the thinly encapsulated strain. The cytokine levels produced by cells stimulated by the two strains were lower and followed a different kinetic than those stimulated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Purified capsular polysaccharide inhibits TNF-alpha secretion induced by LPS or acapsular C. neoformans. In contrast, no regulator effect on IL-1 beta was observed when LPS was used. The secretory response of these cytokines follows different pathways of macrophage activation; in fact, complete inhibition of TNF-alpha does not affect IL-1 beta production and vice versa. These data indicate that purified capsular polysaccharide of C. neoformans could contribute to the in vivo progress of cryptococcosis by suppressing cytokine production of macrophages and suggest that a therapeutic approach to address the suppressive effect of cryptococal polysaccharide could be devised.
PMCID: PMC173397  PMID: 7622213
16.  Molecular and idiotypic analysis of antibodies to Cryptococcus neoformans glucuronoxylomannan. 
Infection and Immunity  1994;62(9):3864-3872.
Antibodies to the Cryptococcus neoformans capsular glucuronoxylomannan (GXM) form the basis of two potential therapeutic intervention strategies, i.e., conjugate vaccines and passive antibody therapy. To better understand the molecular basis of the antibody response, the heavy- and light-chain immunoglobulin variable region (VH and VL, respectively) sequences of seven monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to GXM were determined. Rabbit anti-idiotypic serum was made to the previously characterized murine MAb 2H1 and used to study MAb 2H1 idiotype expression in other GXM-binding MAbs and immune sera. MAb E1 originated from a C3H/HeJ mouse immunized with C. neoformans serotype A polysaccharide. MAbs 471, 1255, 339, 3C2, 386, and 302 originated from BALB/c mice immunized with polysaccharide of serotypes A, A, B, C, D, and D, respectively, conjugated to sheep erythrocytes. In the E1, VH uses V11 from the T15 gene family and JH3 and has a D segment of three amino acids, and the VL uses a VKSer-like gene family element and JK5. In MAbs 471 and 3C2, the VH uses VH7183-like gene family elements and JH2 and has D segments of seven amino acids, and the VL uses VK5.1 and JK1. In MAbs 1255 and 339, the VH uses VH10-like gene elements and JH4 and has six codon D segments, and the VL uses a VK21-like gene element and JK5. In MAbs 302 and 386, respectively, the VH uses VHGAM-like gene elements and JH2 and JH3 and has six and four codon D segments, and VL uses VK4/5-like gene elements and JK1.VH usage, MAb 2H1 idiotype expression, and fine specificity mapping define a minimum of three GXM epitopes which elicit protective antibodies. The results confirm that the antibody response is highly restricted, suggest a close relationship between molecular structure and serological properties, and provide insight into protein structural motifs important for GXM binding.
PMCID: PMC303042  PMID: 8063403
17.  Occurrences, immunoglobulin classes, and biological activities of antibodies in normal human serum that are reactive with Cryptococcus neoformans glucuronoxylomannan. 
Infection and Immunity  1994;62(7):2857-2864.
Serum obtained from normal human subjects contains antibodies reactive in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with the glucuronoxylomannan (GXM) of Cryptococcus neoformans. The frequency of occurrence of class-specific antibodies among normal subjects was 28% for immunoglobulin G (IgG), 98% for IgM, and 3% for IgA. Anti-GXM antibodies with kappa light chains occurred in 98% of normal subjects, while the occurrence of lambda light chains was 28%. Each of five subjects with high levels of anti-GXM IgG antibodies had readily detectable antibodies of the IgG2 isotype; two of the five subjects had readily detectable IgG1 antibody. An examination of sera from human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients showed that human immunodeficiency virus infection was accompanied by a significant decrease in the occurrence of IgM antibodies and anti-GXM antibodies with kappa light chains; these decreases occurred early in infection when CD4 counts were still > or = 500 cells per microliter. A slight but not statistically significant decrease in the occurrence of anti-GXM IgG antibodies was seen only in patients with CD4 levels of < 200 cells per microliter. Sera from normal subjects with high levels of anti-GXM IgG antibodies were examined to identify any contribution of the antibodies to complement activation or to opsonization of the yeast cells. An analysis of the kinetics for activation and binding of C3 to the yeast cell showed no pattern of quantitative or qualitative differences between sera with high or low levels of anti-GXM IgG antibodies. Phagocytosis studies showed that the naturally occurring IgG antibodies did not contribute to opsonization of the yeast cells.
PMCID: PMC302892  PMID: 8005676
18.  Occurrences, specificities, and functions of ubiquitous antibodies in human serum that are reactive with the Cryptococcus neoformans cell wall. 
Infection and Immunity  1994;62(1):215-220.
Previous studies found that normal human serum (NHS) contains an immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody that mediates initiation of the classical complement pathway by nonencapsulated Cryptococcus neoformans. The present study used an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with whole nonencapsulated yeast cells as solid-phase antigens to demonstrate the presence of high levels of IgG antibody in each of 11 sera from normal adult donors. The IgG antibodies were of the IgG2 subclass. The antibody activity was blocked completely by treatment of serum with isolated yeast glucan. Treatment of serum with mannan or chitin had no effect on antibody levels. Antibody activity was adsorbed completely by treatment of serum with zymosan particles. Adsorption with intact cells of Saccharomyces cerevisiae or Candida albicans had no effect, suggesting that the glucan on S. cerevisiae or C. albicans is not surface exposed. Assessment of the opsonic requirements for phagocytosis of nonencapsulated cryptococci by monocyte-derived human macrophages (MO-M phi) showed that high levels of phagocytosis occurred when yeast cells were opsonized with NHS. Removal of anti-glucan antibody by adsorption with whole nonencapsulated cryptococci did not diminish opsonic activity. Heat-inactivated serum or anti-glucan antibody affinity purified from NHS lacked opsonic activity. Taken together, these results indicate that phagocytosis of nonencapsulated cryptococci by monocyte-derived human macrophages has an obligatory requirement for opsonic ligands of the complement system, with no contribution by the anti-glucan IgG that is found in NHS.
PMCID: PMC186089  PMID: 8262630
19.  Accelerated decay of C3b to iC3b when C3b is bound to the Cryptococcus neoformans capsule. 
Infection and Immunity  1993;61(10):4360-4366.
Incubation of encapsulated and nonencapsulated Cryptococcus neoformans in normal human serum (NHS) leads to activation and binding of potentially opsonic fragments of complement component C3 to the yeast cells. Analysis of the molecular forms of C3 after incubation of encapsulated cryptococci in NHS showed that the percentage of bound C3 occurring as iC3b approached 100% after 8 min. The percentage of bound C3 occurring as iC3b on nonencapsulated cryptococci never exceeded 70%, even after 60 min of incubation in NHS. Conversion of C3b to iC3b was assessed further by incubating C3b-coated cryptococci for various times with a mixture of complement factors H and I at 40% of their respective physiological concentrations. Most, if not all, of the C3b on encapsulated cryptococci was converted to iC3b at a single fast rate. Conversion of C3b to iC3b on nonencapsulated cryptococci did not follow a single rate constant and appeared to have a fast and a slow component. Studies of the requirements for factors H and I in cleavage of C3b to iC3b showed steep dose-response curves for both factors in the case of encapsulated cryptococci and shallow curves with C3b bound to nonencapsulated cryptococci. Taken together, our results indicate that C3b molecules bound to encapsulated cryptococci have a uniformly high susceptibility to conversion to iC3b by factors H and I. In contrast, a significant portion of the C3b bound to nonencapsulated cryptococci is very resistant to conversion to iC3b by factors H and I.
PMCID: PMC281167  PMID: 8406826
20.  Effects of strain variation, serotype, and structural modification on kinetics for activation and binding of C3 to Cryptococcus neoformans. 
Infection and Immunity  1993;61(7):2966-2972.
Incubation of encapsulated cells of Cryptococcus neoformans in normal human serum leads to activation of the alternative complement pathway and deposition of opsonic fragments of C3 into the capsule. We determined whether the variation in capsular structure that occurs among the four major cryptococcal serotypes was reflected in the kinetics for activation and binding of C3. We also examined the effects on activation kinetics of de-O-acetylation or periodate oxidation of the capsule. Binding kinetics were characterized in terms of the time required to deposit 5% of the maximal amount of C3 on the yeast (t5%), the first-order rate constant for amplification of C3 deposition (k'), and the maximum amount of C3 that could be deposited in the capsule (C3max). Our results showed that variations in the capsular structure that characterized each serotype had no significant influence on C3max but that the rate of C3 deposition depended significantly on the serotype. C3 accumulated at a higher rate on cells of serotypes A and D than on cells of serotypes B and C. There was a significant correlation between capsular volume and C3max, although the relationship was not linear. Periodate treatment of encapsulated cryptococci of all four serotypes led to decapsulation. Periodate-oxidized encapsulated cells displayed kinetics for activation and binding of C3 that were identical to kinetics observed with nonencapsulated cryptococci. Finally, de-O-acetylation led to a significant but relatively minor increase in C3max.
PMCID: PMC280946  PMID: 8514401
21.  In vivo complement activation and binding of C3 to encapsulated Cryptococcus neoformans. 
Infection and Immunity  1992;60(9):3937-3939.
Tissues from mice infected with Cryptococcus neoformans were examined by immunofluorescence to determine the extent of deposition of complement component C3 on encapsulated cryptococci. The relative percentages of cryptococci in each tissue having readily visible C3 were greatest for liver and lung tissues, with the kidney tissue having the next highest percentage and the spleen having the lowest percentage. Binding of C3 fragments to cryptococci in brain tissue was essentially absent.
PMCID: PMC257415  PMID: 1500204
22.  Kinetic analysis of the amplification phase for activation and binding of C3 to encapsulated and nonencapsulated Cryptococcus neoformans. 
Infection and Immunity  1992;60(8):3122-3127.
Encapsulated and nonencapsulated cryptococci exhibit quantitative and qualitative differences in their activation of the complement system. We examined the kinetics for the rapid amplification phase in which C3 was activated and bound to encapsulated cryptococci, nonencapsulated cryptococci, and zymosan particles. Yeast cells were incubated in normal human serum containing 125I-labeled C3, and bound C3 fragments were measured after 1 to 64 min of incubation. A kinetic analysis showed that the apparent first-order rate constant (k') for binding of C3 to nonencapsulated cryptococci did not differ significantly from k' for binding of C3 to zymosan particles (P greater than 0.05). However, the rate constant for binding of C3 to encapsulated cryptococci was significantly (P less than 0.001) greater than k' for binding of C3 to nonencapsulated cryptococci and zymosan particles. A plot of C3 molecules bound to encapsulated cryptococci versus time cubed was nearly linear, suggesting that accumulation of C3 in the cryptococcal capsule follows the kinetics predicted by an expanding sphere. In contrast, the plot of C3 molecules bound to nonencapsulated cryptococci or zymosan particles against time was nearly linear, but those plots against time squared or time cubed were not. This result indicates that the rate-limiting step for the addition of C3 fragments to these latter yeast cells follows the kinetics of neither the perimeter of an expanding circle nor the surface of an expanding sphere. Taken together, the results indicate that the high rate of accumulation of C3 in the cryptococcal capsule is consistent with the expected geometry of an expanding sphere of bound C3 within the three-dimensional matrix of the capsule.
PMCID: PMC257291  PMID: 1639481
23.  Contribution of antibody in normal human serum to early deposition of C3 onto encapsulated and nonencapsulated Cryptococcus neoformans. 
Infection and Immunity  1992;60(3):754-761.
Encapsulated and nonencapsulated cryptococci differ in their activation of the complement system. Incubation of nonencapsulated cryptococci in normal human serum (NHS) initiates both the classical and alternative pathways. This activation is characterized by an immediate, synchronous activation and binding of C3 to the yeast cells. Encapsulated cryptococci activate only the alternative pathway. This activation is characterized by a delayed (4 to 5 min), asynchronous activation and binding of C3. We examined the properties of antibodies in NHS that mediate immediate, synchronous binding of C3 to nonencapsulated cryptococci and zymosan. Adsorption of NHS with nonencapsulated cryptococci or zymosan produced a 4- to 6-min delay in the kinetics for activation and binding of C3 from the adsorbed serum to each respective yeast cell. This delay was similar to the delay observed when nonencapsulated cryptococci or zymosan was incubated in NHS in which the classical pathway was blocked by chelation of Ca2+. Proteins bound to serum-treated nonencapsulated cryptococci or zymosan were eluted and found to be predominantly immunoglobulin G (IgG), with lesser amounts of IgM. The eluted IgG could restore to adsorbed serum the rapid early kinetics for activation and binding of C3 characteristic of classical pathway initiation. Cross-adsorption showed that there was considerable cross-reactivity between the antibodies which restored rapid, early activation kinetics to NHS adsorbed with zymosan or nonencapsulated cryptococci. Encapsulated cryptococci were unable to adsorb the antibodies from NHS that mediated the rapid, early activation and binding of C3 to zymosan and nonencapsulated cryptococci. The latter results show that occlusion of antigenic sites at the cryptococcal cell wall is a newly recognized property that can be added to the repertoire of biological activities of the cryptococcal capsule.
PMCID: PMC257550  PMID: 1541548
24.  Early events in initiation of alternative complement pathway activation by the capsule of Cryptococcus neoformans. 
Infection and Immunity  1991;59(9):3101-3110.
The capsule of Cryptococcus neoformans is a powerful activator of the alternative complement pathway. This study examined the manner in which the cryptococcal capsule influences initiation of and early events in complement activation by C. neoformans. These studies examined the effects of the classical and alternative pathways on the kinetics and early sites for deposition of C3 fragments on encapsulated cryptococci, nonencapsulated cryptococci, and zymosan. The results showed that nonencapsulated cryptococci and zymosan are qualitatively and quantitatively similar in the manner in which they initiate complement activation. Both utilize the classical and alternative pathways. Initiation via the classical pathway occurs suddenly and simultaneously at sites distributed over the entire cell surface. Initiation of the alternative pathway by zymosan and nonencapsulated cryptococci is characterized by a lag of 6 to 8 min before appreciable amounts of C3 accumulate on the cells. Alternative pathway initiation by zymosan and nonencapsulated cryptococci occurs at a limited number of focal initiation sites that expand with alternative pathway amplification to cover the cell surface. Presence of the cryptococcal capsule blocks classical pathway initiation, which would normally occur at the cryptococcal cell wall, and produces an initiation that is dependent solely on the alternative pathway. Initiation of the alternative pathway by the cryptococcal capsule is characterized by a lag in C3 accumulation and the appearance of a limited number of focal initiation sites which resemble those observed when the alternative pathway is activated by zymosan and nonencapsulated cryptococci.
PMCID: PMC258140  PMID: 1831795
25.  Opsonization of Cryptococcus neoformans by a family of isotype-switch variant antibodies specific for the capsular polysaccharide. 
Infection and Immunity  1990;58(6):1914-1918.
A family of immunoglobulin isotype-switch variants was isolated by sib selection from a murine hybridoma which produced an immunoglobulin G subclass 1 (IgG1) antibody specific for the capsular polysaccharide of Cryptococcus neoformans. Antibodies of the IgG1, IgG2a, and IgG2b isotypes had similar serotype specificity patterns in double immunodiffusion assays which used polysaccharides of the four cryptococcal serotypes as antigens. A quantitative difference in the ability of the isotypes to form a precipitate with the polysaccharide was observed in a double immunodiffusion assay and confirmed in a quantitative precipitin assay. The relative precipitating activity of the antibodies was IgG2a greater than IgG1 much greater than IgG2b. Analysis by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of the reactivity of the three isotypes with cryptococcal polysaccharide showed identical titers and slopes, suggesting that the variable region of the class-switch antibodies was unaltered. This system allowed us to examine the effect of the Fc portion of the antibody on opsonization of encapsulated cryptococci. Yeast cells were precoated with antibodies of each isotype and incubated with murine macrophages or cultured human monocytes. Antibodies of all three isotypes exhibited a dose-dependent opsonization for phagocytosis by both human and murine phagocytes. The relative opsonic activity of the antibodies was IgG2a greater than IgG1 greater than IgG2b.
PMCID: PMC258743  PMID: 2187813

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