To develop a new strategy to control candidiasis, we examined in vivo the anticandidal effects of a synthetic lactoferrin peptide, FKCRRWQWRM (peptide 2) and the peptide that mimics it, FKARRWQWRM (peptide 2′). Although all mice that underwent intraperitoneal injection of 5 × 108 Candida cells with or without peptide 2′ died within 8 or 7 days, respectively, the survival times of mice treated with 5 to 100 μg of intravenous peptide 2 per day for 5 days after the candidal inoculation were prolonged between 8.4 ± 2.9 and 22.4 ± 3.6 days, depending on the dose of peptide 2. The prolongation of survival by peptide 2 was also observed in mice that were infected with 1.0 × 109 Candida albicans cells (3.2 ± 1.3 days in control mice versus 8.2 ± 2.4 days in the mice injected with 10 μg of peptide 2 per day). In the high-dose inoculation, a combination of peptide 2 (10 μg/day) with amphotericin B (0.1 μg/day) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) (0.1 μg/day) brought prolonged survival. With a combination of these agents, 60% of the mice were alive for more than 22 days. Correspondingly, peptide 2 activated phagocytes inducing inducible NO synthase and the expression of p47phox and p67phox, and peptide 2 increased phagocyte Candida-killing activities up to 1.5-fold of the control levels upregulating the generation of superoxide, lactoferrin, and defensin from neutrophils and macrophages. These findings indicated that the anticandidal effects of peptide 2 depend not only on the direct Candida cell growth-inhibitory activity, but also on the phagocytes' upregulatory activity, and that combinations of peptide 2 with GM-CSF and antifungal drugs will help in the development of new strategies for control of candidiasis.
Toyohiro Tanida, Fu Rao, Toshihiro Hamada, Eisaku Ueta, and Tokio Osaki Lactoferrin Peptide Increases the Survival of Candida albicans- Inoculated Mice by Upregulating Neutrophil and Macrophage Functions, Especially in Combination with Amphotericin B and Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor. Infect Immun. 2001 June Department of Oral Surgery, Kochi Medical School, Kohasu, Nankoku-city, Kochi 783-8505, Japan.