Effect of TNF-α on C. albicans Morphological Change in Liquid Media


C. albicans undergoes morphological change in order to infiltrate the epithelial cell layer, posing health threat. This morphological infectious state is known as filamentous due to the elongated protrusion that stems from the base yeast form. To date, the intestinal cues responsible for the change in C. albicans morphology are not clearly defined. Candidiasis is observed in Crohn’s disease, where elevated level of inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis alpha (TNF-α) is reported. We hypothesize that TNF-α may represent an intestinal cue responsible for the shift in morphology in C. albicans. We tested our hypothesis in three different liquid media: Minimal (MM), Yeast Extract Peptone Dextrose (YEPD), and Spider media (SM). In our experimental conditions, we found that Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS) induced filamentous growth 66% of the time in SM, 16% of the time in YEPD and none in MM (n = 18 plates for each condition). While both YEPD and SM saw significant impact on filamentous growth with FBS, SM showed greater significance so this condition was used in the TNF-α study. In a preliminary study, we found that TNF-α on its own did not cause filamentation (n = 15). Yet, TNF-⍺ totally inhibited FBS-induced filamentous growth, while FBS induced 20% filamentous growth in our control (n=15). In conclusion, we found that FBS-induced filamentous growth is dependent on the type of liquid media used. In addition, our preliminary experiments show that TNF-α prevent filamentous growth and may represent a protective mechanism during candidiasis observed during Crohn’s disease

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Valparaiso University

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