The Production of Nitric Oxide By Murine Peritoneal and Alveolar Macrophages in Response to Candida Albicans Yeast and Hyphae

Date of Graduation

Spring 1999


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Richard Myers


Candida albicans is a frequent opportunistic pathogen of immunocompromised hosts. The switch from the yeast to the hyphal form enhances virulence. Murine peritoneal (PM⏀) and alveolar macrophages (AM⏀) produce a variety of cytokines as well as nitric oxide (NO), a short lived radical gas, in response to C. albicans. PM⏀ and AM⏀ were harvested and stimulated with C. albicans yeast or hyphae alone or a combination of interferon-gamma (IFN-⋎) plus C. albicans yeast to produce NO. IFN-⋎ plus bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) provided a positive control. Inhibition studies were performed using NG-monomethyl-L-arginine, an NO synthase inhibitor. PM⏀ produced detectable levels of NO 18 hr after stimulation with the positive control whereas AM⏀ did not produce detectable levels until 48 hr. Neither PM⏀ or AM⏀ produced detectable levels of NO in response to C. albicans yeast or hyphae alone. In response to C. albicans yeast or hyphae plus IFN-⋎, PM⏀ produced NO at concentrations less than 1 uM. However, AM⏀ produced NO at concentrations approximating 15 uM in response to C. albicans yeast plus IFN-⋎and at concentrations approximating 45 uM in response to C. albicans hyphae plus IFN-⋎. This study indicates that PM⏀ and AM⏀ respond differently to challenge, possibly through different processing pathways.

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© Deirdre E Daniels