dl-2-Hydroxyisocaproic Acid Attenuates Inflammatory Responses in a Murine Candida albicans Biofilm Model.

M T Nieminen, M Hernandez, Lilyann Novak, H Kuula, G Ramage, P Bowyer, P Warn, T Sorsa, Rautemaa-Richardson Richardson

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Chronic biofilm infections are often accompanied by a chronic inflammatory response, leading to impaired healing and increased, irreversible damage to host tissues. Biofilm formation is a major virulence factor for Candida albicans and a challenge for treatment. Most current antifungals have proved ineffective in eradicating infections attributed to biofilms. The biofilm structure protects Candida species against antifungals and provides a way for them to evade host immune systems. This leads to a very distinct inflammatory response compared to that seen in planktonic infections. Previously, we showed the superior efficacy of dl-2-hydroxyisocaproic acid (HICA) against various bacteria and fungi. However, the immunomodulatory properties of HICA have not been studied. Our aim was to investigate the potential anti-inflammatory response to HICA in vivo. We hypothesized that HICA reduces the levels of immune mediators and attenuates the inflammatory response. In a murine model, a robust biofilm was formed for 5 days in a diffusion chamber implanted underneath mouse skin. The biofilm was treated for 12 h with HICA, while caspofungin and phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) were used as controls. The pathophysiology and immunoexpression in the tissues surrounding the chamber were determined by immunohistochemistry. Histopathological examination showed an attenuated inflammatory response together with reduced expression of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) compared to those of chambers containing caspofungin and PBS. Interestingly, the expression of developmental endothelial locus 1 (Del-1), an antagonist of neutrophil extravasation, increased after treatment with HICA. Considering its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity, HICA may have enormous therapeutic potential in the treatment of chronic biofilm infections and inflammation, such as those seen with chronic wounds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1240-1245
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and vaccine immunology : CVI
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


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