Damage to Candida albicans hyphae and pseudohyphae by the myeloperoxidase system and oxidative products of neutrophil metabolism in vitro

R. D. Diamond, R. A. Clark, C. C. Haudenschild

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30 Scopus citations


In previous studies, we noted that Candida hyphae and pseudohyphae could be damaged and probably killed by neutrophils, primarily by oxygen-dependent nonphagocytic mechanisms. In extending these studies, amount of damage to hyphae again was measured by inhibition of [14C]cytosine uptake. Neutrophils from only one of four patients with chronic granulomatous disease damaged hyphae at all, and neutrophils from this single patient damaged hyphae far less efficiently than simultaneously tested neutrophils from normal control subjects. Neutrophils from neither of two subjects with hereditary myeloperoxidase deficiency damaged the hyphae. This confirmed the importance of oxidative mechanisms in general and myeloperoxidase-mediated systems in particular in damaging Candida hyphae. Several potentially fungicidal oxidative intermediates are produced by metabolic pathways of normal neutrophils, but their relative toxicity for Candida hyphae was previously unknown. To help determine this, cell-free in vitro systems were used to generate these potentially microbicidal products. Myeloperoxidase with hydrogen peroxide, iodide, and chloride resulted in 91.2% damage to hyphal inocula in 11 experiments. There was less damage when either chloride or iodide was omitted, and no damage when myeloperoxidase was omitted or inactivated by heating. Azide, cyanide, and catalase (but not heated catalase) inhibited the damage. Systems for generation of hydrogen peroxide could replace reagent hydrogen peroxide in the myeloperoxidase system. These included glucose oxidase, in the presence of glucose, and xanthine oxidase, in the presence of either hypoxanthine or acetaldehyde. In the presence of myeloperoxidase and a halide, the toxicity of the xanthine oxidase system was not inhibited by superoxide dismutase and under some conditions, was marginally increased by this enzyme. This suggested that superoxide radical did not damage hyphae directly but served primarily as an intermediate in the production of hydrogen peroxide. The possible damage to hyphae by singlet oxygen was examined using photoactivation of rose bengal. This dye damaged hyphae in the presence of light and oxygen. The effect was almost completely inhibited by putative quenchers of singlet oxygen: histidine, tryptophan, and 1,4-diazobicyclo[2.2.2]octane. These agents also inhibited damage to hyphae by myeloperoxidase, halide, and either hydrogen peroxide or a peroxide source (xanthine oxidase plus acetaldehyde). Myeloperoxidase-mediated damage to hyphae was also inhibited by dimethyl sulfoxide, an antioxidant and scavenger of the hydroxyl radical. These data support the involvement of oxidative mechanisms and the myeloperoxidase-H2O2-halide system, in particular in damaging hyphae in vitro and perhaps in vivo as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)908-917
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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