• Candida albicans cell wall mannan polysaccharide has an ability to negatively influence cell-mediated immune function. We have attempted to identify the mechanism of this phenomenon by testing the modulatory effects of isolated mannan and the chemical catabolites of mannan on cell-mediated immune function in vitro. We have determined that mannan isolated by complexation with cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) is more antigenic than mannan isolated by precipitation with copper and that CTAB mannan does not inhibit lymphoproliferation stimulated by another antigen. We have also determined that ollgosaccharides of three sizes, derived by chemical catabolism of CTAB mannan, are not antigenic, but instead are immunoinhibitory. Immunoinhibition does not involve interference with the mitogenic activity of interleukin 2. A similar occurrence of oligosaccharides may be produced by catabolism of mannan in vivo as evidenced by the presence of oligosaccharides of similar size in cell-free supernatant fluids derived from mononuclear leukocytes incubated with tritiated mannan. We propose that catabolites of fungal mannan may contribute significantly to suppression of cell-mediated immunity in candidiasis.
(Arch Surg. 1989;124:1290-1294)