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Title: Immunological and morphological characterization of Candida albicans and Candida haemulonii
Author: Mehrotra, Pankaj
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2014
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During the infection process Candida albicans has to respond to various stresses imposed by host environment including oxidative and osmolarity stress generated by phagocytic cells such as macrophages and neutrophils. Exposure to caspofungin and other antifungal antibiotics also imposes stress on the C. albicans cell wall. These various stress responses are orchestrated through the activation of multiple stress pathways including the cAMP-PKA, several MAPK pathways and the Ca2+-calcineurin pathway which influence cell wall shape and composition. Such changes were predicted to influence recognition of C. albicans by innate immune cells. During my Ph.D. studies I primarily investigated the effect of the activation or inhibition of these pathways on the interaction with the innate immune cells by examining phagocytosis, the cytokine profile induced by mononuclear and polynuclear cells of the innate immune system. I found that the activation and inhibition of these pathways plays an important role in remodeling of cell wall and hence the immunological profile. Inactivation of cAMP, Calcium signaling pathway by the deletion of TPK1 and CNA1 resulted in marked reduction in pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Inactivation of MAPK pathway by deletion of HOG1 altered major pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion. Cytokine production was also affected by exposure of C. albicans signaling mutants to Calcofluor White, caspofungin, oxidative and osmotic inducing stresses. Cytokine stimulation was also affected by deletion of URA3, exposure of C. albicans to rifmapicin and antimycin A. These results suggest that stress signaling pathways act to regulate collateral changes in the cell wall, which in turn affects the immune reactivity. Pro and anti-inflammatory cytokine and antifungal profiles of Candida haemulonii was also found to be highly variable. Thus regulation and exposure to different microenvironments significantly modifies immunological signature of fungal cells, suggesting that responses to local stresses make the fungal cell surface a moving target for immunological surveillance.
Supervisor: Gow, Neil Sponsor: Ariadne EU-Initial Training Network (PITN-GA-2009-237936)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Candida albicans ; Candidiasis