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Morphological changes and phagocytic activity during the interaction of human neutrophils with Sporothrix schenckii: An in vitro model

Curtiellas-Piñol, Vicente, Ventura-Juárez, Javier, Ruiz-Baca, Estela, Romo-Lozano, Yolanda
Microbial pathogenesis 2019 v.129 pp. 56-63
Sporothrix schenckii, coculture, conidia, histopathology, humans, models, morphs, neutrophils, phagocytosis, scanning electron microscopy, viability, yeasts
Histopathological studies of human sporotrichosis lesions show pyogenic and granulomatous processes in which polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) play a central role. Few studies regarding the events associated with the interaction of human PMNs with Sporothrix schenckii have been made despite their importance in the clinical manifestations of the disease. In this study, human PMNs were co-cultured with conidia or yeast cells of S. schenckii to compare the phagocytic activity and morphological changes that could provide a clearer insight into the role of these phagocytes in the initial phase of sporotrichosis. PMNs showed increased cell size and separation of the nuclear lobes after phagocytosis. Through Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) analysis, an increase in cells with flattened filaments and vesicles on their surface was observed. Phagocytosed conidia showed a significant increase in width and size. The phagocytic activity was greater against yeasts than with conidia, but the viability of both S. schenckii cellular morphotypes was not drastically affected even after 2 h of co-culture. In conclusion, morphological changes in PMNs suggest that S. schenckii induces processes that may favor proinflammatory events. These phagocytes show a high ability to bind or ingest S. schenckii cells without affecting their viability. Morphological changes recorded in ingested conidia, suggest that this fungus could make the dimorphic switching in PMNs.