Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

In vitro study on aspects of molecular mechanisms underlying invasive aspergillosis caused by gliotoxin and fumagillin, alone and in combination.

Abstract

Gliotoxin (GT) and fumagillin (FUM) are mycotoxins most abundantly produced by Aspergillus fumigatus during the early stages of infection to cause invasive aspergillosis (IA). Therefore, we hypothesized that GT and FUM could be the possible source of virulence factors, which we put to test adopting in vitro monoculture and the novel integrated multiple organ co-culture (IdMOC) of A549 and L132 cell. We found that (i) GT is more cytotoxic to lung epithelial cells than FUM, and (ii) GT and FUM act synergistically to inflict pathology to the lung epithelial cell. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) is the master regulator of the cytotoxicity of GT, FUM and GT + FUM. ROS may be produced as a sequel to mitochondrial damage and, thus, mitochondria are both the source of ROS and the target to ROS. GT-, FUM- and GT + FUM-induced DNA damage is mediated either by ROS-dependent mechanism or directly by the fungal toxins. In addition, GT, FUM and GT + FUM may induce protein accumulation. Further, it is speculated that GT and FUM inflict epithelial damage by neutrophil-mediated inflammation. With respect to multiple organ cytotoxicity, GT was found to be cytotoxic at IC50 concentration in the following order: renal epithelial cells < type II epithelial cells < hepatocytes < normal lung epithelial cells. Taken together, GT and FUM alone and in combination contribute to exacerbate the damage of lung epithelial cells and, thus, are involved in the progression of IA.