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Neonatal malnutrition programs the oxidant function of macrophages in response to Candida albicans

Costa, Thacianna Barreto Da, Morais, Natália Gomes De, Pedrosa, Amanda Lúcia F., De Albuquerque, Suênia Da Cunha G., De Castro, Maria Carolina A.B., Pereira, Valéria Rêgo A., Cavalcanti, Milena De Paiva, De Castro, Célia Maria M.B.
Microbial pathogenesis 2016 v.95 pp. 68-76
Candida albicans, adulthood, apoptosis, body weight, cell viability, dietary restriction, fungi, gene expression, immune response, inducible nitric oxide synthase, laboratory animals, lactation, low protein diet, macrophages, malnutrition, maternal nutrition, models, mothers, necrosis, nitric oxide, nutrient deficiencies, nutritional status, oxidants, oxidative stress, pathogens, progeny, protein content, puppies, rats, transcription (genetics), weaning
Experimental maternal nutrition restriction models are used to investigate short or long-term consequences of nutritional deficiency on puppies' growth. By assuming that the immune function is directly related to host's nutritional status, the current study aims to investigate the effects of neonatal malnutrition on oxidative stress and on the cell death of the alveolar macrophage after in vitro infection by Candida albicans. Wistar rats were suckled by mothers fed on diets containing 17% protein (Nourished group) or 8% protein (Malnourished group) in the current assay. Both groups received the standard diet used in the vivarium until adulthood, after weaning. The results showed that the offspring from mothers fed on low-protein diet presented lower body weight from 5 days of life on. Their low weight remained until adulthood when it was compared to that of rats in the nourished group. Superoxide and nitric oxide production was lower in malnourished animals and it was accompanied by low inducible nitric oxide synthase gene expression levels in systems in which the alveolar macrophages were challenged by immunogenic stimulus. No significant differences were observed in comparisons performed between the nourished and malnourished groups in any of the analyzed cell viability (apoptosis/necrosis) parameters. The fungal inoculum-stimulated system induced higher oxidative stress and cell death by necrosis. The current study demonstrated that dietary restriction during lactation alters the oxidant function of alveolar macrophages in puppies; It happens from the gene transcription step to the release of mediators, thus compromising the host's defenses against Candida albicans. It raises the possibility that Candida albicans may cease to be a commensal fungus to become a pathogen in offspring that have suffered nutritional deficiency during critical developmental periods, due to impaired immune responses.