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Immunology - Infectious Diseases - Microbiology - Respiratory Medicine

Contributions of the MyD88-Dependent Receptors IL-18R, IL-1R, and TLR9 to Host Defenses following Pulmonary Challenge with Cryptococcus neoformans
Published: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Author: Jennifer P. Wang et al.

by Jennifer P. Wang, Chrono K. Lee, Ali Akalin, Robert W. Finberg, Stuart M. Levitz

Signaling via the adapter protein, MyD88, is important in the host defense against Cryptococcus neoformans infection. While certain Toll-like receptors (TLRs) can enhance the clearance of Cryptococcus, the contributions of MyD88-dependent, TLR-independent pathways have not been fully investigated. We examined the roles of IL-1R and IL-18R in vivo by challenging C57BL/6 mice with a lethal strain of Cryptococcus. We found that the absence of IL-18R, but not IL-1R, causes a shift in the survival curve following pulmonary delivery of a virulent strain of C. neoformans (H99). Specifically, IL-18R-deficient mice have significantly shorter median survival times compared to wild-type mice following infection. Cytokine analysis of lung homogenates revealed that deficiency of IL-IR, IL-18R, or MyD88 is associated with diminished lung levels of IL-1ß. In order to compare these findings with those related to TLR-deficiency, we studied the effects of TLR9-deficiency and found that deficiency of TLR9 also affects the survival curve of mice following challenge with C. neoformans. Yet the lungs from infected TLR9-deficient mice have robust levels of IL-1ß. In summary, we found that multiple signaling components can contribute the MyD88-dependent host responses to cryptococcal infection in vivo and each drives distinct pulmonary responses.