Damage to Aspergillus fumigatus and Rhizopus oryzae hyphae by oxidative and nonoxidative microbicidal products of human neutrophils in vitro

R. D. Diamond, R. A. Clark

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154 Scopus citations


Our previous studies established that human neutrophils could damage and probably kill hyphae of Aspergillus fumigatus and Rhizopus oryzae in vitro, primarily by oxygen-dependent mechanisms active at the cell surface. These studies were extended, again quantitating hyphal damage by reduction in uptake of 14C-labeled uracil or glutamine. Neither A. fumigatus nor R. oryzae hyphae were damaged by neutrophils from patients with chronic granulomatous disease, confirming the importance of oxidative mechanisms in damage to hyphae. In contrast, neutrophils from one patient with hereditary myeloperoxidase deficiency damaged R.C. oryzae but not A. fumigatus hyphae. Cell-free, in vitro systems were then used to help determine the relative importance of several potentially fungicidal products of neutrophils. Both A. fumigatus and R. oryzae hyphae were damaged by the myeloperoxidase-hydrogen peroxide-halide system either with reagent hydrogen peroxide or enzymatic systems for generating hydrogen peroxide (glucose oxidase with glucose, or xanthine oxidase with either hypoxanthine or acetaldehyde). Iodide with or without chloride supported the reaction, but damage was less with chloride alone as the halide cofactor. Hydrogen peroxide alone damaged hyphae only in concentrations ≥ mM, but 0.01 mM hypochlorous acid, a potential product of the myeloperoxidase system, significantly damaged R. oryzae hyphae (a 1 mM concentration was required for significant damage to A. fumigatus hypae). Damage to hyphae by the myeloperoxidase system was inhibited by azide, cyanide, catalase, histidine, and tryptophan, but not by superoxide dismutase, dimethyl sulfoxide, or mannitol. Photoactivation of the dye rose bengal resulted in hyphal damage which was inhibited by histidine, tryptophan, and 1,4-diazobicyclo(2,2,2)octane. Lysates of neutrophils or separated neutrophil granules did not affect A. fumigatus hyphae, but did damage R. oryzae hyphae. Similarly, three preparations of cationic proteins purified from human neutrophil granules were more active in damaging R. Oryzae than A. fumigatus hyphae. This damage, as with the separated granules and whole cell lysates, was inhibited by the polyanion heparin. Damage to R. oryzae hyphae by neutrophil cationic proteins was enhanced by activity of the complete myeloperoxidase system or by hydrogen peroxide alone in subinhibitory concentrations. These data support the importance of oxidative products in general and the myeloperoxidase system in particular in damage to hyphae by neutrophils. Cationic proteins may also contribute significantly to neutrophil-mediated damage to R. oryzae hyphae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-495
Number of pages9
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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