• Qingzhe Zhang

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Lack of IL-6 increases blood–brain barrier permeability in fungal meningitis

      Xiang Li Guiyang Liu Jianli Ma Liang Zhou Qingzhe Zhang Lei Gao

      More Details Abstract Fulltext PDF

      The pathogenesis of increased blood–brain barrier permeability during Cryptococcus meningitis is still largely unknown. Interleukin (IL-6) is a multifunctional cytokine, and numerous studies have shown that IL‐6 influences the integrity of the blood–brain barrier. In this study we investigated the role of IL-6 in Cryptococcus meningitis. First, wild-type or IL-6−/− mice were injected with Cryptococcus neoformans (C. neoformans) and the survival time in both groups was recorded. Second, the number of fungi was measured in the brains of IL-6−/− wild-type mice. Finally, the blood–brain barrier permeability index was detected in infected IL-6−/− mice treated with recombinant human IL-6. The blood–brain barrier permeability index was measured in infected wild-type mice treated with anti-IL-6 antibodies as well. The survival of IL-6−/− mice injected with C. neoformans was significantly lower than that of identically challenged wild-type mice. The infected IL-6−/− mice had significantly larger brain fungal burdens than wild-type mice. Furthermore, increased blood–brain barrier index was found in infected IL-6−/− mice when compared with that in infected control mice. Similar results were obtained when mice challenged with C. neoformans were treated systemically with neutralizing anti-IL-6 antibodies, resulting in an elevation of vascular permeability. Our data revealed that IL-6 reduced the blood–brain barrier permeability during Cryptococcus meningitis, and it might provide an explanation for the significantly lower survival of infected IL-6−/− mice.

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