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Summary

Candida albicans causes the majority of invasive candidiasis in immunocompromised adults while Candida parapsilosis is a leading cause of neonatal candidiasis. While much work has focused on how the immune system recognizes and responds to C. albicans, less is known about host interaction with C. parapsilosis. This study investigates the human neutrophil phagocytic response to these species. Neutrophils underwent phagocytosis of C. parapsilosis yeast and C. albicans hyphae much more efficiently than C. albicans yeast. Treatment of neutrophils with a galectin-3 (gal3) blocking antibody inhibited phagocytosis of C. parapsilosis yeast and C. albicans hyphae, but not C. albicans yeast. The majority of neutrophil gal3 was expressed intracellularly and was secreted from neutrophils after treatment with C. parapsilosis mannan. When neutrophils were treated with exogenous gal3, phagocytosis of both C. albicans and C. parapsilosis yeast increased. Exposure of neutrophils to C. parapsilosis yeast increased phagocytosis of C. albicans yeast and was inhibited by gal3 blocking antibody. Taken together, these data indicate that gal3 secreted from neutrophils may act as a pro-inflammatory autocrine/paracrine signal in neutrophil phagocytosis and suggest that gal3 has a unique role in neutrophil response to C. parapsilosis yeast and C. albicans hyphae distinct from C. albicans yeast.