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Critical Care

Volume 11 Supplement 4

Sepsis 2007

Open Access

Effects of antifungal agents on the production of cytokines from macrophages stimulated by Aspergillus fumigatu s conidia

  • Jung-Hyun Choi1,
  • Eun-Young Kwon2,
  • Chulmin Park2,
  • Sun Hee Park1,
  • Su-Mi Choi1,
  • Dong-Gun Lee1,
  • Jin-Hong Yoo1 and
  • Wan-Shik Shin1
Critical Care200711(Suppl 4):P53

Published: 26 September 2007


ItraconazoleAntifungal AgentImmunomodulatory EffectAspergillus FumigatuMicafungin


We evaluated the immunomodulatory effect of three antifungal agents, amphotericin B (AmB), micafungin (MF) and itraconazole (ITZ), in the aspect of cytokine production and expression of NF-κB in Aspergillus fumigatus conidia-treated RAW264.7 cells, a murine alveolar macrophage cell line.

Materials and methods

We evaluated the cytotoxic effect of antifungal agents using a commercial cell proliferation assay. TNFα and IL-10 production according to stimulation (control, A. fumigatus conidia only, conidia + antifungal drug, conidia + antifungals + GM-CSF) was evaluated and each compared using a commercial ELISA method. NF-κB activation was evaluated by western blot analysis.


AmB, MF and ITZ showed a dose-dependent cytotoxic effect on the tested cells. Stimulation of cells by A. fumigatus conidia induced TNFα production. Pretreatment of AmB at concentrations not affecting cellular survival did not change the production of TNFα compared with conidia-treated cells, but pretreatment of MF or ITZ showed a reduced amount of TNFα production compared with conidia-treated cells. AmB also showed a synergistic effect on TNFα production when simultaneously treated with GM-CSF. IL-10 production was markedly increased when the cells were treated with AmB with conidia. MF and ITZ induced a smaller increase of IL-10 production. AmB also showed a synergistic effect on the production of IL-10 when treated with GM-CSF simultaneously. A. fumigatus conidia enhanced expression of NF-κB. The degree of NF-κB expression was associated with the amount of TNFα and IL-10 produced.


The antifungal agents we used in this experiment showed decreased TNFα production and increased IL-10 production from the RAW264.7 cells stimulated by A. fumigatus conidia after pretreatment of antifungal agents. But more studies such as the association between the immunomodulatory effect and antifungal activity and the difference of the signal pathway of cellular activation according to drugs should be performed.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases,College of Medicine, Catholic University of Korea, Korea
Catholic Research Institutes of Medical Science, Catholic University of Korea, Korea


© BioMed Central Ltd 2007