CAWS is a mannoprotein-beta-glucan complex obtained from the culture supernatant of the fungal pathogen Candida albicans. CAWS exhibits various biological activities, and induces prominent vasculitis of the aortic valve and the coronary arteries in mouse. A significant difference was noted in the susceptibility to and the degree of vasculitis induction among mouse lines. The difference in cytokine production among mouse lines may be strongly related to that difference, namely, IL-6, IFN-γ and TNF-α presumably act as positive factors, and IL-10, as a negative regulator. On the other hand, as a structural component of the inducing substance, the presence or absence of β-1,2-mannose residues was suggested to be closely related to the activity. An understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying this model could lead to the conquest of many modern diseases. This model is also expected to be useful for the development of new therapeutic drugs for vasculitis and cardiovascular diseases.
Keywords: Murine model, vasculitis, coronary arteritis, remodeling, fungal polysaccharide, CAWS, Candida albicans, mannoprotein
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