Image_2_A Role for Yeast/Pseudohyphal Cells of Candida albicans in the Correlated Expression of NLRP3 Inflammasome Inducers in Women With Acute Vulvovaginal Candidiasis.TIF
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In acute vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), the fungus Candida albicans activates inflammasome receptors of vaginal epithelial cells through the production of virulence and immuno-inflammatory factors. Here, we show that in VVC patients, genes encoding some of the above factors (SAP2, SAP5, SAP6, ECE1, and HWP1) are expressed in a correlated fashion. Cytological observations pointed out that pseudohyphal filaments with yeast cells are dominant at the acidic vaginal pH, and this is coupled with co-expression, at roughly similar level, of SAP2, a typical yeast and ECE1, a typical hyphae-associated genes. In contrast, vigorous hyphal growth dominated at the neutral vaginal pH of mice experimentally infected with C. albicans isolates from VVC subjects, and this is coupled with a high ratio of ECE1 to SAP2 expression. We suggest that the pseudohyphal rather than true hyphal cells of C. albicans play a critical role in VVC, possibly through the activity of multiple inflammasome inducers.
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