Dectin-1 is required for host defense against Pneumocystis carinii but not against Candida albicans

Nat Immunol. 2007 Jan;8(1):39-46. doi: 10.1038/ni1425. Epub 2006 Dec 10.


Dectin-1 is a C-type lectin involved in the recognition of beta-glucans found in the cell walls of fungi. We generated dectin-1-deficient mice to determine the importance of dectin-1 in the defense against pathogenic fungi. In vitro, beta-glucan-induced cytokine production from wild-type dendritic cells and macrophages was abolished in cells homozygous for dectin-1 deficiency ('dectin-1-knockout' cells). In vivo, dectin-1-knockout mice were more susceptible than wild-type mice to pneumocystis infection, even though their cytokine production was normal. However, pneumocystis-infected dectin-1-knockout macrophages did show defective production of reactive oxygen species. In contrast to those results, wild-type and dectin-1-knockout mice were equally susceptible to candida infection. Thus, dectin-1 is required for immune responses to some fungal infections, as protective immunity to pneumocystis, but not to candida, required dectin-1 for the production of antifungal reactive oxygen species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Candida albicans / immunology*
  • Candidiasis / immunology*
  • Candidiasis / physiopathology
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology*
  • Pneumocystis Infections / immunology*
  • Pneumocystis Infections / prevention & control*
  • Pneumocystis carinii / immunology*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / analysis
  • Signal Transduction
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Up-Regulation


  • Cytokines
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • dectin 1