Impaired TH17 responses in patients with chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis with and without autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis- ectodermal dystrophy

Wan Fai Ng, Alexei Von Delwig, Andrew J. Carmichael, Peter D. Arkwright, Mario Abinun, Andrew J. Cant, Stephen Jolles, Desa Lilic

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: Accumulating evidence implicates TH17 cytokines in protection against Candida species infections, but the clinical relevance is not clear. Chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis (CMC) is a heterogeneous syndrome with the unifying feature of selective susceptibility to chronic candidiasis. Different subgroups with distinct clinical features are recognized, including autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy (APECED), CMC with hypothyroidism, and isolated CMC. Understanding immune defects in patients with CMC will define cellular and molecular mechanisms crucial for protection against Candida species in human subjects. Objectives: We sought to determine whether impaired TH17 responses underlie susceptibility to Candida species infections and whether the same defect is present in different CMC subgroups. Methods: We assessed TH17 responses of PBMCs to Candida and non-Candida species stimuli by measuring IL-17, IL-22, IL-21, IL-6, IL-23, and IFN-γ cytokine production using cytokine arrays and intracellular cytokine-producing cell numbers and proliferation with flow cytometry. PBMCs from healthy subjects and unaffected family members served as controls. Results: In patients with CMC with hypothyroidism, TH17 cells demonstrated decreased proliferation and IL-17 production in response to Candida species. In contrast, in patients with APECED, TH17 cell proliferation and IL-17 production were normal unless exposed to APECED plasma, which inhibited both functions in both APECED and normal PBMCs. Candida species-stimulated IL-22 production was impaired in all patients with CMC, whereas IL-6 and IL-23 responses were unaltered. Conclusion: An impaired TH17 response to Candida species, although mediated by different mechanisms, was present in all CMC subgroups studied and might be a common factor predisposing to chronic candidiasis.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1006-e4
    JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


    • autoimmune polyendocrinopathy type 1
    • autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy
    • autoimmune regulator
    • Candida species
    • chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis
    • cytokines
    • IFN-γ
    • IL-22
    • primary immunodeficiency
    • T H17


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