Relative contributions of myeloperoxidase and NADPH-oxidase to the early host defense against pulmonary infections with Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus

Med Mycol. 2002 Dec;40(6):557-63. doi: 10.1080/mmy.40.6.557.563.


Generation of oxidative products by phagocytic cells is known to be an important host defense mechanism directed toward killing of invading microorganisms. The importance of two major oxidant-producing enzymes, myeloperoxidase (MPO) and NADPH-oxidase, in in vivo fungicidal action was directly compared in genetically engineered mice. Both MPO-deficient (MPO-/-) and NADPH-oxidase-deficient (X-linked chronic granulomatous disease [X-CGD]) mice showed increased susceptibility to pulmonary infections with Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus compared with normal mice, and the X-CGD mice exhibited shorter survivals than MPO-/- mice. This increased mortality of X-CGD mice was associated with a 10- to 100-fold increased outgrowth of the fungi in their organs during the first 6 days. These results suggest that superoxide (O2-) produced by NADPH-oxidase is more important than hypochlorous acid (HOCl) produced by MPO, although both oxidative products obviously contribute to the host defense against pulmonary infection with those fungi. We also observed that MPO-/-/X-CGD double knockout mice showed comparable levels of susceptibility to the X-CGD mice against C. albicans and A. funigatus, indicating that MPO is unable to play a role in host defense in the absence of NADPH-oxidase. This strongly suggests that hydrogen peroxide, the precursor of HOCl, is solely derived from O2- produced by NADPH-oxidase.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aspergillosis / immunology
  • Aspergillosis / microbiology
  • Aspergillus fumigatus / pathogenicity*
  • Candida albicans / pathogenicity*
  • Candidiasis / immunology
  • Candidiasis / microbiology
  • Female
  • Granulomatous Disease, Chronic / immunology
  • Granulomatous Disease, Chronic / microbiology
  • Hypochlorous Acid / metabolism
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / immunology*
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / microbiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • NADPH Oxidases / genetics
  • NADPH Oxidases / physiology*
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Peroxidase / genetics
  • Peroxidase / physiology*


  • Hypochlorous Acid
  • Peroxidase
  • NADPH Oxidases