Glutathione reductase promotes fungal clearance and suppresses inflammation during systemic candida albicans infection in mice

Victoria Y. Kim, Abel Batty, Jinhui Li, Sean G. Kirk, Sara A. Crowell, Yi Jin, Juan Tang, Jian Zhang, Lynette K. Rogers, Han Xiang Deng, Leif D. Nelin, Yusen Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Glutathione reductase (Gsr) catalyzes the reduction of glutathione disulfide to glutathione, which plays an important role in redox regulation. We have previously shown that Gsr facilitates neutrophil bactericidal activities and is pivotal for host defense against bacterial pathogens. However, it is unclear whether Gsr is required for immune defense against fungal pathogens. It is also unclear whether Gsr plays a role in immunological functions outside of neutrophils during immune defense. In this study, we report that Gsr-/- mice exhibited markedly increased susceptibility to Candida albicans challenge. Upon C. albicans infection, Gsr-/- mice exhibited dramatically increased fungal burden in the kidneys, cytokine and chemokine storm, striking neutrophil infiltration, histological abnormalities in both the kidneys and heart, and substantially elevated mortality. Large fungal foci surrounded by massive numbers of neutrophils were detected outside of the glomeruli in the kidneys of Gsr-/- mice but were not found in wild-type mice. Examination of the neutrophils and macrophages of Gsr-/- mice revealed several defects. Gsr-/- neutrophils exhibited compromised phagocytosis, attenuated respiratory burst, and impaired fungicidal activity in vitro. Moreover, upon C. albicans stimulation, Gsr-/- macrophages produced increased levels of inflammatory cytokines and exhibited elevated p38 and JNK activities, at least in part, because of lower MAPK phosphatase (Mkp)-1 activity and greater Syk activity. Thus, Gsr-mediated redox regulation is crucial for fungal clearance by neutrophils and the proper control of the inflammatory response by macrophages during host defense against fungal challenge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2239-2251
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 15 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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