Up-to-date findings in the host defence mechanism to Cryptococcus infection

Keiko Ishii, Kazuyoshi Kawakami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Cryptococcus neoformans is a medically important opportunistic fungal pathogen with a polysaccharide capsule surrounding the yeast-like cells. In hosts with impaired cell-mediated immunity such as AIDS, uncontrolled infection causes life-threatening meningoencephalitis. In immunocompetent individuals, the host immune response usually limits the growth of the fungal pathogen at the primary infected site, where it may persist, without completely eradicated, in a latent state because of its ability to escape from killing by macrophages. Th1 response in adaptive immunity is essential for the host defense to cryptococcal infection, in which interferon (IFN)-γ polarizes innate macrophages into fungicidal M1 macrophages. Recently, we found that caspase recruitment domain family member (CARD9), an adaptor protein in a signal transduction triggered by C-type lectin receptors, plays a key role in the early production of IFN-γ at the site of infection by recruiting NK cells and CD4+ and CD8+ memory-phenotype T cells. We also found that IL-4 produced by Th2 cells stimulates broncoepithelial cells to secrete mucin, which may lead to promotion in the mucociliary clearance of C. neoformans. Here, we summarize the up-to-date findings in the host defense mechanism to this infection with focusing on our recent data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)J107-J114
JournalMedical Mycology Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • CARD9
  • M1 macrophages
  • Memory-phenotype T cells
  • Mucin
  • Type 1 IFN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases


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