Diniz-Lima I, da Rosa PR, da Silva-Junior EB, Guimarães-de-Oliveira JC, de Freitas EO, de Oliveira Nascimento D, Morrot A, Nimrichter L, Previato JO, Mendonça-Previato L, Freire-de-Lima L, Decote-Ricardo D, Freire-de-Lima CG. X-linked immunodeficient (XID) mice exhibit high susceptibility to Cryptococcus gattii infection. Sci Rep. 2021 Sep 15;11(1):18397.
DOI: : 10.1038/s41598-021-97041-9
Cryptococcosis is an opportunistic disease caused by the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii. It starts as a pulmonary infection that can spread to other organs, such as the brain, leading to the most serious occurrence of the disease, meningoencephalitis. The humoral response has already been described in limiting the progression of cryptococcosis where the B-1 cell seems to be responsible for producing natural IgM antibodies, crucial for combating fungal infections. The role of the B-1 cell in C. neoformans infection has been initially described, however the role of the humoral response of B-1 cells has not yet been evaluated during C. gattii infections. In the present study we tried to unravel this issue using XID mice, a murine model deficient in the Btk protein which compromises the development of B-1 lymphocytes. We use the XID mice compared to BALB/c mice that are sufficient for the B-1 population during C. gattii infection. Our model of chronic lung infection revealed that XID mice, unlike the sufficient group of B-1, had early mortality with significant weight loss, in addition to reduced levels of IgM and IgG specific to GXM isolated from the capsule of C. neoformans. In addition to this, we observed an increased fungal load in the blood and in the brain. We described an increase in the capsular size of C. gattii and the predominant presence of cytokines with a Th2 profile was also observed in these animals. Thus, the present study strongly points to a higher susceptibility of the XID mouse to C. gattii, which suggests that the presence of B-1 cells and anti-GXM antibodies is fundamental during the control of infection by C. gattii.