Involvement of Major Components from Sporothrix schenckii Cell Wall in the Caspase-1 Activation, Nitric Oxide and Cytokines Production During Experimental Sporotrichosis


Sporotrichosis is a chronic infection caused by the dimorphic fungus Sporothrix schenckii, involving all layers of skin and the subcutaneous tissue. The role of innate immune toll-like receptors 2 and 4 in the defense against this fungus has been reported, but so far, there were no studies on the effect of cell wall major components over the cytosolic oligo-merization domain (NOD)-like receptors, important regulators of inflammation and responsible for the maturation of IL-1β and IL-18, whose functions are dependents of the caspase-1 activation, that can participate of inflammasome. It was evaluated the percentage of activation of caspase-1, the production of IL-1β, IL-18, IL-17, IFN-γ and nitric oxide in a Balb/c model of S. schenckii infection. It was observed a decreased activity of caspase-1 during the fourth and sixth weeks of infection accompanied by reduced secretion of the cytokines IL-1β, IL-18 and IL-17 and high production of nitric oxide. IFN-γ levels were elevated during the entire time course of infection. This temporal reduction in caspase-1 activity coincides exactly with the reported period of fungal burden associated with a transitory immunosuppression induced by this fungus and detected in similar infection models. These results indicate the importance of interaction between caspase-1, cytokines IL-1β and IL-18 in the host defense against S. schenckii infection, suggesting a participation the inflammasome in this response.

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Lipid extract


Alkali-insoluble fraction


Nitric oxide


Brain heart infusion


Phosphate-buffered saline


Peritoneal exudate cells




Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay


Concanavalin A






Pattern recognition receptors


NOD-like receptors


Pathogen-associated molecular patterns


Protein associated with apoptosis


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The authors are grateful to Marisa Campos Polesi Placeres for technical support. This work was supported by grants from the State of Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) (Grants No. 2013/03190-5), National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPQ) and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior (CAPES, Brazil) and Foreigner Visiting Professor Program (Grant 07610130).

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The authors declare that the experiments comply with the laws in force in the country in which they were performed.

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The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Iracilda Zeppone Carlos.

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Gonçalves, A.C., Maia, D.C.G., Ferreira, L.S. et al. Involvement of Major Components from Sporothrix schenckii Cell Wall in the Caspase-1 Activation, Nitric Oxide and Cytokines Production During Experimental Sporotrichosis. Mycopathologia 179, 21–30 (2015).

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  • Cytokines
  • Caspase-1
  • Nitric oxide
  • Sporothrix schenckii