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Phialophora verrucosa (P. verrucosa) is a pathogen that can cause chromoblastomycosis and phaeohyphomycosis. Recent evidence suggests that neutrophils can produce neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) that can protect against invasive pathogens. As such, we herein explored the in vitro functional importance of P. verrucosa-induced NET formation. By assessing the co-localization of neutrophil elastase and DNA, we were able to confirm the formation of classical NETs entrapping P. verrucosa specimens. Sytox Green was then used to stain these NETs following neutrophil infection with P. verrucosa in order to quantify the formation of these extracellular structures. NET formation was induced upon neutrophil exposure to both live, UV-inactivated, and dead P. verrucosa fungi. The ability of these NETs to kill fungal hyphae and conidia was demonstrated through MTT and pouring plate assays, respectively. Overall, our results confirmed that P. verrucosa was able to trigger the production of NETs, suggesting that these extracellular structures may represent an important innate immune effector mechanism controlling physiological responses to P. verrucosa infection, thereby aiding in pathogen control during the acute phases of infection.


Qin Liu, Wenjuan Yi, Si Jiang, Jiquan Song, Pin Liang. Neutrophil Extracellular Traps Serve as Key Effector Molecules in the Protection Against Phialophora verrucosa. Mycopathologia. 2021 Jun;186(3):367-375

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PMID: 34013384

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