, Volume 175, Issue 1–2, pp 1–11 | Cite as

Mouse Strain-Dependent Differences in Estrogen Sensitivity During Vaginal Candidiasis

  • Paolo Mosci
  • Donatella Pietrella
  • Giovanni Ricci
  • Neelam Pandey
  • Claudia Monari
  • Eva Pericolini
  • Elena Gabrielli
  • Stefano Perito
  • Francesco Bistoni
  • Anna VecchiarelliEmail author


The animal models available for studying the immune response to genital tract infection require induction of a pseudo estrous state, usually achieved by administration of 17-β-estradiol. In our experimental model of vaginal candidiasis, under pseudo estrus, different strains of mice were used. We observed major differences in the clearance of Candida albicans infection among the different strains, ascribable to differing susceptibility to estradiol treatment. In the early phase of infection CD1, BALB/c, C57BL/6 albino and C57BL/6 mice were colonized to similar levels, while in the late phase of infection, BALB/c mice, which are considered genetically resistant to C. albicans infection, exhibited greater susceptibility to vaginal candidiasis than CD1 and C57BL/6 albino strains of mice. This was because estradiol induced “per se” enlarged and fluid-filled uteri, more pronounced in infected mice and consistently more evident in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice than in CD1 mice. Unlike CD1, BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice showed a heavy fungal colonization of the uterus, even though C57BL/6 mice apparently cleared C. albicans from the vagina. The presence of C. albicans in the vagina and uterus was accompanied by a heavy bacterial load. Collectively these observations prompted us to carry out a careful analysis of estradiol effects in a mouse model of vaginal infection.


Pseudo estrous condition C. albicans Vaginal infection Vaginal candidiasis Genital tract infections 



This paper was supported by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Perugia, project number 2010.011.0398. We thank Catherine Macpherson for editorial assistance.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paolo Mosci
    • 1
  • Donatella Pietrella
    • 2
  • Giovanni Ricci
    • 3
  • Neelam Pandey
    • 2
  • Claudia Monari
    • 2
  • Eva Pericolini
    • 2
  • Elena Gabrielli
    • 2
  • Stefano Perito
    • 2
  • Francesco Bistoni
    • 2
  • Anna Vecchiarelli
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Internal Medicine Section, Department of Veterinary Pathology, Diagnostic and Veterinary ClinicUniversity of PerugiaPerugiaItaly
  2. 2.Microbiology Section, Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical SciencesUniversity of PerugiaPerugiaItaly
  3. 3.Animal Facility LaboratoryUniversity of PerugiaPerugiaItaly

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