Lipids affect the Cryptococcus neoformans-macrophage interaction and promote nonlytic exocytosis

Sabrina J. Nolan, Man Shun Fu, Isabelle Coppens, Arturo Casadevall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Many microbes exploit host cellular lipid droplets during the hostmicrobe interaction, but this phenomenon has not been extensively studied for fungal pathogens. In this study, we analyzed the role of lipid droplets during the interaction of Cryptococcus neoformans with macrophages in the presence and the absence of exogenous lipids, in particular, oleate. The addition of oleic acid increased the frequency of lipid droplets in both C. neoformans and macrophages. C. neoformans responded to oleic acid supplementation by faster growth inside and outside macrophages. Fungal cells were able to harvest lipids from macrophage lipid droplets. Supplementation of C. neoformans and macrophages with oleic acid significantly increased the rate of nonlytic exocytosis while having no effect on lytic exocytosis. The process for lipid modulation of nonlytic exocytosis was associated with actin changes in macrophages. In summary, C. neoformans harvests lipids from macrophages, and the C. neoformans-macrophage interaction is modulated by exogenous lipids, providing a new tool for studying nonlytic exocytosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00564-17
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2017


  • Cryptococcus neoformans
  • Electron microscopy
  • Fatty acids
  • Host-pathogen interaction
  • Lipid droplets
  • Macrophages
  • Microscopy
  • Nonlytic exocytosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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