The plasticity of human blood monocytes in Candida albicans infection

Prof. Dr. Christine Skerka

Infektionsbiologie, Leibniz-HKI



Großer Hörsaal Erbertstraße

Human blood monocytes are highly flexible immune cells and respond in many different ways to foreign and self-antigens. One central way to transfer messages and to communicate with other cells is the generation and release of extracellular vesicles. We found that human and also mouse monocytes in infected mice release TGF-β1-transporting vesicles in response to the pathogenic fungus Candida albicans. How these vesicles are induced and which proteins these vesicle transport, will be presented. The released monocyte vesicles dampen the pro-inflammatory response in human M1-macrophages as well as in whole blood. The question is whether this pathway exists in physiological non-infectious conditions and whether C. albicans uses this newly identified vesicle pathway for immune evasion. Moreover, the induced vesicles transport microRNAs that can regulate important signaling pathways in target cells. Microvesicles in fungal infections open a fascinating new complex field of fast cellular communication and coordination of immune responses.