Stimulation of surfactant exocytosis in primary alveolar type II cells by A. fumigatus.
Med Mycol. 2020 May 27;:
Authors: Schiefermeier-Mach N, Perkhofer S, Heinrich L, Haller T
Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic fungal pathogen with small airborne spores (conidia) that may escape clearance by upper airways and directly impact the alveolar epithelium. Consequently, innate alveolar defense mechanisms are being activated, including professional phagocytosis by alveolar macrophages, recruitment of circulating neutrophils and probably enhanced secretion of pulmonary surfactant by the alveolar type II (AT II) cells. However, no data are available in support of the latter hypothesis. We therefore used a coculture model of GFP-Aspergillus conidia with primary rat AT II cells and studied fungal growth, cellular Ca2+ homeostasis, and pulmonary surfactant exocytosis by live cell video microscopy. We observed all stages of fungal development, including reversible attachment, binding and internalization of conidia as well as conidial swelling, formation of germ tubes and outgrowth of hyphae. In contrast to resting conidia, which did not provoke immediate cellular effects, metabolically active conidia, fungal cellular extracts (CE) and fungal culture filtrates (CF) prepared from swollen conidia caused a Ca2+-independent exocytosis. Ca2+ signals of greatly varying delays, durations and amplitudes were observed by applying CE or CF obtained from hyphae of A. fumigatus, suggesting compounds secreted by filamentous A. fumigatus that severely interfere with AT II cell Ca2+ homeostasis. The mechanisms underlying the stimulatory effects, with respect to exocytosis and Ca2+ signaling, are unclear and need to be identified.
PMID: 32459847 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]