Platelets are capable of binding, aggregating, and internalizing microorganisms, which enhances the elimination of pathogens from the blood. The yeast Candida albicans is a pathobiont causing life-threatening invasive infections. Its cell wall contains β-1,3 glucans that are known to trigger a wide range of host cell activities and to circulate during infection. We studied the effect of β-1,3 glucan fractions (BGFs) consisting of diglucosides (Glc2), tetraglucosides (Glc4), and pentaglucosides (Glc5) on human platelets, their mechanisms of action, and their possible impact on host defenses. The effect of BGFs on the coagulation process was determined by measuring thrombin generation. Platelets pretreated with BGFs were analyzed in terms of activation, receptor expression, aggregation, and adhesion to neutrophils and to C. albicans. The results show that BGFs affected the endogenous thrombin potential in a concentration-dependent manner. For platelet activation, BGFs at a low concentration (2 μmol/l) reduced ATP release and prevented the phosphorylation of protein kinase C. BGFs diminished the expression of P-selectin and the activation of αIIbβ3. BGFs decreased platelet aggregation and the interaction between thrombin-stimulated platelets and neutrophils, fibrinogen, and C. albicans. GLc5 decreased ATP release and TGF-β1 production in response to TLR4 upregulation in thrombin-stimulated platelets, but TLR4 blockage abolished the effect of BGFs on platelets. This study provides evidence that fungal pentaglucosides modulate platelet activity mediated via TLR4 stimulation and reduce platelet-neutrophil interaction.
- Candida albicans
- toll-like receptors
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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