Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Production By Murine Peritoneal Macrophages in Response to Candida Albicans Yeasts, Germ Tubes, and Mycelia

Date of Graduation

Fall 1997


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Richard Myers


Candida albicans is a dimorphic fungus that has been found to cause lethal septic shock and disseminated infection in immunocrompromised hosts. Following colonization of the hosts tissues the yeast form of the organism forms germ tubes and eventually mycelia. The yeast form of the organism is enerally associated with the commensal organism and the mycelia is associated with systemic infection. Recognition of this pathogen by host immune cells such as macrophages causes the production of a variety of cytokines, one is Tumor Necrosis Factor-α. TNF-α has been implicated as a mediator in endotoxic shock syndrome. However, there is also evidence that this cytokine can have beneficial effects when produced at low levels. The focus of this study was to determine if macrophage production of TNF-α differs in response to yeasts, germ tubes or mycelia of Candida albicans. Results demonstrated that there was no significant difference in macrophage production of TNF-α in response to 3 distinct stages of germ tube formation or the mycelia. However, it was found that macrophage production of TNF-α increased in response to yeast cells based on the age of the culture.

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© Laura J Willis


Open Access