Medical Microbiology and Immunology

, Volume 192, Issue 4, pp 225–229

Programmed cell death in thymus during experimental paracoccidioidomycosis

  • Paula C. S. Souto
  • Vânia N. Brito
  • Jacy Gameiro
  • Maria Alice da Cruz-Höfling
  • Liana Verinaud
Original Investigation

DOI: 10.1007/s00430-003-0180-3

Cite this article as:
Souto, P.C.S., Brito, V.N., Gameiro, J. et al. Med Microbiol Immunol (2003) 192: 225. doi:10.1007/s00430-003-0180-3

Abstract

Many works have shown that immunosuppressive effects induced by systemic mycosis can be related to primary lymphoid organ damage. Previous studies in our laboratory showed that Paracoccidioides brasiliensis was able to invade the thymus, inducing a severe atrophy with significant reduction of cortical area along with a loss of cortico-medullary boundary. The objective of the present study was to investigate whether thymic atrophy is caused by programmed cell death (PCD) and to examine the ultrastructural characteristics of the thymus in experimentally infected BALB/c mice. The results revealed an eightfold increase in the apoptotic index occurring by day 5 post infection, i.e., during early stages of the infection, shown by immunohistochemistry. In addition, typical cell alterations of autophagic PCD were observed by transmission electron microscopy. Taken together, these results reinforce the idea that thymic alterations may be involved in the immunosuppressive phenomenon frequently associated with paracoccidioidomycotic infection.

Keywords

Paracoccidioides brasiliensisThymusTUNELElectron microscopyProgrammed cell death

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paula C. S. Souto
    • 1
  • Vânia N. Brito
    • 1
  • Jacy Gameiro
    • 1
  • Maria Alice da Cruz-Höfling
    • 2
  • Liana Verinaud
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Microbiologia e Imunologia, Instituto de BiologiaUniversidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP)Campinas-SPBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Histologia e Embriologia, Instituto de BiologiaUniversidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP)Campinas-SPBrazil