Cellular immune suppressor activity resides in lymphocyte cell clusters adjacent to granulomata in human coccidioidomycosis

Lijin Li, Sharon M. Dial, Monika Schmelz, Margaret A. Rennels, Neil M. Ampel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The in situ immunologic response in human coccidioidomycosis remains undefined. To explore this further, pulmonary necrotizing coccidioidal granulomata were examined using immunohistochemical staining for lymphocyte subsets and for the cytokines interleukin-10 (IL-10) and gamma interferon (IFN-γ). Discrete perigranulomatous lymphocytic clusters were seen in eight of nine tissues examined. In these tissues, T lymphocytes (CD3 +) significantly outnumbered B lymphocytes (CD20+) in the mantle area of the granulomata (P = 0.028), whereas the clusters were composed of roughly equal numbers of T and B lymphocytes. While the number of cells in the mantle expressing IL-10 was similar to those in the perigranulomatous clusters, there were significantly more cells expressing IFN-γ in the mantle than in the clusters (P = 0.037). Confocal microscopy revealed that CD4+ T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes are associated with IL-10 production. CD4+CD25+ T lymphocytes were identified in the perigranulomatous clusters but were not associated with IL-10 production. This is the first report noting perigranulomatous lymphocyte clusters and IL-10 in association with human coccidioidal granulomata and suggests that down-regulation of the cellular immune response is occurring within coccidioidal granulomata.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3923-3928
Number of pages6
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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