Gut colonization by Candida albicans aggravates inflammation in the gut and extra-gut tissues in mice
We examined whether Candida albicans gut colonization aggravates immune diseases in mice. Chronic and latent C. albicans gut colonization was established by the intragastric inoculation of C. albicans in mice fed as part of a purified diet. Allergic diarrhea was induced by repetitive intragastric administration of ovalbumin in sensitized BALB/c mice. Contact hypersensitivity was evaluated by measuring ear swelling after topical application of 2, 4-dinitrofluorobenzene in NC/Nga mice. Arthritis was induced by intradermal injection of bovine type-II collagen emulsified with complete Freund's adjuvant in DBA/1J mice. C. albicans gut colonization increased the incidence of allergic diarrhea, which was accompanied by gut hyperpermeability, as well as increased infiltration of inflammatory cells in the colon. Contact hypersensitivity was also exacerbated by C. albicans gut colonization, as demonstrated by increased swelling, myeloperoxidase activity, and proinflammatory cytokines in ear auricles. Furthermore, C. albicans gut colonization promoted limb joint inflammation in collagen-induced arthritis, in an animal model of rheumatoid arthritis. These findings suggest that C. albicans gut colonization in mice aggravates inflammation in allergic and autoimmune diseases, not only in the gut but also in the extra-gut tissues and underscores the necessity of investigating the pathogenic role of C. albicans gut colonization in immune diseases in humans.