The protective effect of inflammatory monocytes during systemic C. albicans infection is dependent on collaboration between C-type lectin-like receptors

Aiysha Thompson, Luke C. Davies, Chia-Te Laio, Diogo M. da Fonseca, James S. Griffiths, Robert Andrews, Adam V. Jones, Mathew Clement, Gordon D. Brown, Ian R. Humphreys, Philip R. Taylor, Selinda J. Orr* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

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Invasive candidiasis, mainly caused by Candida albicans, is a serious healthcare problem with high mortality rates, particularly in immunocompromised patients. Innate immune cells express pathogen recognition receptors (PRRs) including C-type lectin-like receptors (CLRs) that bind C. albicans to initiate an immune response. Multiple CLRs including Dectin-1, Dectin-2 and Mincle have been proposed individually to contribute to the immune response to C. albicans. However how these receptors collaborate to clear a fungal infection is unknown. Herein, we used novel multi-CLR knockout (KO) mice to decipher the individual, collaborative and collective roles of Dectin-1, Dectin-2 and Mincle during systemic C. albicans infection. These studies revealed an unappreciated and profound role for CLR co-operation in anti-fungal immunity. The protective effect of multiple CLRs was markedly greater than any single receptor, and was mediated through inflammatory monocytes via recognition and phagocytosis of C. albicans, and production of C. albicans-induced cytokines and chemokines. These CLRs were dispensable for mediating similar responses from neutrophils, likely due to lower expression of these CLRs on neutrophils compared to inflammatory monocytes. Concurrent deletion of Dectin-1 and Dectin-2, or all three CLRs, resulted in dramatically increased susceptibility to systemic C. albicans infection compared to mice lacking a single CLR. Multi-CLR KO mice were unable to control fungal growth due to an inadequate early inflammatory monocyte-mediated response. In response to excessive fungal growth, the multi-CLR KO mice mounted a hyper-inflammatory response, likely leading to multiple organ failure. Thus, these data reveal a critical role for CLR co-operation in the effective control of C. albicans and maintenance of organ function during infection.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1007850
Number of pages29
JournalPLoS Pathogens
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

The authors wish to acknowledge the NIH-sponsored Mutant Mouse Regional Resource Center (MMRRC) National System as the source of genetically-altered mice (C57BL/6-Clec4etm1.1Cfg/Mmucd 031936-UCD) for use in this study. The mice were produced and deposited to the MMRRC by the Consortium for Functional Glycomics supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (GM62116). We would like to thank Catherine Neiseryan and Ann Kift-Morgan for cell sorting. We would like to thank Wales Gene Park for providing computer resources that assisted this research.

Funding: SJO was funded by a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship jointly funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society (Grant Number 099953/Z/12/Z) and by a Wellcome Trust ISSF Cross-Disciplinary Award. LCD is supported by a Henry Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellowship (103973/Z/14/Z). CL is supported by a Kidney Research UK/MedImmune Joint Fellowship Award (PDF_006_20151127). GDB is funded by a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award (102705) and the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology and the University of Aberdeen (MR/N006364/1). IRH is supported by a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship (207503/Z/17/Z). PRT is supported by a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award (107964/Z/15/Z) and the UK Dementia Research Institute. Funding URLs: The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Data Availability: All relevant data apart from RNAseq files are within the manuscript and its Supporting Information files. RNAseq data files are available from ArrayExpress (, (accession number E-MTAB-8030).




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