We propose here that fungal toxins are the underlying cause of multiple sclerosis
The effect of iron overload on susceptibility of mice to Candida albicans infection and on the type of T helper (Th) immunity elicited was investigated. Iron overload greatly increased susceptibility to disseminated infection with low-virulence C. albicans cells of exogenous origin. The candidacidal activity and the ability to release nitric oxide and bioactive interleukin (IL)-12 were greatly impaired in neutrophils and macrophages from infected mice. CD4 T cells from spleens of iron-overloaded mice were found to produce high levels of IL-4 and IL-10 and low levels of interferon-γ. Treatment of iron-overloaded mice with the iron chelator, deferoxamine, resulted in the cure of mice from infection, restored the antifungal effector and immunomodulatory functions of the phagocytic cells, and allowed the occurrence of CD4 Th1 protective antifungal responses. These data indicate that iron overload may negatively affect CD4 Thl development in mice with candidiasis, a function efficiently restored by therapy with deferoxamine.
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