Hyphal Growth of Phagocytosed Fusarium oxysporum Causes Cell Lysis and Death of Murine Macrophages
Bain, Judith M.
Di Pietro, Antonio
Gow, Neil A. R.
Erwig, Lars P.
Plant fungal pathogens
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Fusarium oxysporum is an important plant pathogen and an opportunistic pathogen of humans. Here we investigated phagocytosis of F. oxysporum by J774.1 murine cell line macrophages using live cell video microscopy. Macrophages avidly migrated towards F. oxysporum germlings and were rapidly engulfed after cell-cell contact was established. F. oxysporum germlings continued hyphal growth after engulfment by macrophages, leading to associated macrophage lysis and escape. Macrophage killing depended on the multiplicity of infection. After engulfment, F. oxysporum inhibited macrophages from completing mitosis, resulting in large daughter cells fused together by means of a F. oxysporum hypha. These results shed new light on the initial stages of Fusarium infection and the innate immune response of the mammalian host.