Suppression of anti-Candida activity of macrophages by a quorum-sensing molecule, farnesol, through induction of oxidative stress


Shigeru Abe, Teikyo University Institute of Medical Mycology, 359 Otsuka, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0395, Japan.
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Farnesol is well known as a quorum-sensing molecule of Candida albicans. To assess the pathological function of farnesol, its effects on macrophage viability and functions including growth inhibitory activities against C. albicans were examined in vitro. Murine macrophages, when cultured in the presence of 56–112 μM of farnesol for 1–2 hr, decreased their activity inhibiting the mycelial growth of C. albicans and lost their viability. This suppression of macrophage function by farnesol was neutralized by the coexistence of the anti-oxidants probucol and trolox. Macrophages cultured in the presence of farnesol for 2 hr displayed morphological change of nuclei and DNA fragmentation, which suggested apoptosis of the cells. Intracellular production of ROS in the farnesol-treated macrophages was shown by fluorescence of DCFH-DA and increase of peroxidized materials. These effects of farnesol were blocked by probucol or trolox. These results indicate that farnesol lowered viability of the murine macrophages and suppressed their anti-Candida activity, perhaps through induction of ROS.