Solubilized melanin suppresses macrophage function.
FEBS Open Bio. 2019 Apr;9(4):791-800
Authors: Tajima K, Yamanaka D, Ishibashi KI, Adachi Y, Ohno N
Melanin-producing Cryptococcus and Aspergillus are highly invasive and can suppress or escape the immune system of the host. Since non-melanin-producing strains do not affect the immune system, melanin may play a role in immune system suppression. Artificial melanin synthesized using conventional methods is insoluble, making structural and functional analysis of this chemical difficult. In this study, we describe a melanin solubilization method based on polymerization of homogentisic acid (solubilizing component) and an equivalent amount of L-DOPA in the presence of laccase. In addition, we investigated the effect of melanin on the immune system. Homogentisic acid and L-DOPA mixed melanin (HALD), the synthetic solubilized melanin, did not exert a cytotoxic effect on mouse macrophages. HALD suppressed cytokine and reactive oxygen species production by macrophages when they were stimulated by fungal components. HALD also suppressed the phagocytosis of fungal components by macrophages. These results suggest that HALD can suppress the function of macrophages without causing cytotoxicity.
PMID: 30984552 [PubMed – in process]