Pneumocystis is an important opportunistic fungus that causes pneumonia in children and immunocompromised individuals. Recent genomic data show that divergence of major surface glycoproteins may confer speciation and host range selectivity. On the other hand, immune clearance between mice and humans is well correlated. Thus, we hypothesized that humanize mice may provide information about human immune responses involved in controlling Pneumocystis infection. CD34-engrafted huNOG-EXL mice controlled fungal burdens to a greater extent than nonengrafted mice. Moreover, engrafted mice generated fungal-specific IgM. Fungal control was associated with a transcriptional signature that was enriched for genes associated with nonopsonic recognition of trophs (CD209) and asci (CLEC7A). These same genes were downregulated in CD4-deficient mice as well as twins with bare lymphocyte syndrome with Pneumocystis pneumonia.
Guixiang Dai, Alanna Wanek, Taylor Eddens, Paul Volden, Jay K. Kolls