Dectin immunoadhesins and Pneumocystis pneumonia

Academic Article


  • The opportunistic pathogen Pneumocystis jirovecii is a significant cause of disease in HIV-infected patients and others with immunosuppressive conditions. Pneumocystis can also cause complications in treatment following antiretroviral therapy or reversal of immunosuppressive therapy, as the newly reconstituted immune system can develop a pathological inflammatory response to remaining antigens or a previously undetected infection. To target β-(1,3)-glucan, a structural component of the Pneumocystis cell wall with immune-stimulating properties, we have developed immunoadhesins consisting of the carbohydrate binding domain of Dectin-1 fused to the Fc regions of the 4 subtypes of murine IgG (mIgG). These immunoadhesins bind β-glucan with high affinity, and precoating the surface of zymosan with Dectin-1:Fc can reduce cytokine production by macrophages in an in vitro stimulation assay. All Dectin-1:Fc variants showed specificity of binding to the asci of Pneumocystis murina, but effector activity of the fusion molecules varied depending on Fc subtype. Dectin-1:mIgG2a Fc was able to reduce the viability of P. murina in culture through a complement-dependent mechanism, whereas previous studies have shown the mIgG1 Fc fusion to increase macrophage-dependent killing. In an in vivo challenge model, systemic expression of Dectin-1:mIgG1 Fc significantly reduced ascus burden in the lung. When administered postinfection in a model of immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS), both Dectin-1:mIgG1 and Dectin-1:mIgG2a Fc reduced hypoxemia despite minimal effects on fungal burden in the lung. Taken together, these data indicate that molecules targeting β-glucan may provide a mechanism for treatment of fungal infection and for modulation of the inflammatory response to Pneumocystis and other pathogens. © 2013, American Society for Microbiology.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ricks DM; Chen K; Zheng M; Steele C; Kolls JK
  • Start Page

  • 3451
  • End Page

  • 3462
  • Volume

  • 81
  • Issue

  • 9