Effect of Estrogen on Morphological Change in Candida albicans and Neurospora crassa
College of Nursing and Health Professions/ Health Science- PA Program
Within the human intestine, opportunistic pathogens, like Candida albicans (C. albicans), live in symbiosis with the host. Under certain stresses, C. albicans can change its morphology from yeast to filamentous and invade the body. During sepsis, estrogen levels dramatically increases, and are associated with poor patient outcome. We hypothesize that high estrogen levels may cause filamentous growth in C. albicans. Morphological changes in the filamentous fungus, Neurospora crassa, have been well characterized therefore, in addition to C. albicans we are using Neurospora as a model to test gut environmental factors on morphology.
C. albicans, was grown on liquid media YEPD, whereas Neurospora was grown on agar plates. Estrogen (1 µM, 1 nM, and 0.1 nM) was added to either the liquid media or to the plate and morphological changes were assayed by light microscopy.
Our preliminary data show that we are able to induce morphological change in C. albicans with N-acetyl-D-Glucamine, a positive control. In one experimental series, we tested increasing concentration of estrogen (0.1 nM, 1 nM and 1 µM) on filamentous growth in C. albicans and did not find a significant effect of estrogen compared to control (ANOVA P = 0.8, n = 8). Exposing Neurospora to 1 µM and 1 nM of estrogen caused Neurospora to grow more densely and erratically . Conversely, 0.1 nM estrogen caused Neurospora to grow not as dense but branch out farther onto the plate (triplicate experiment).
We have established experimental conditions to test the effect of estrogen on both C. albicans and Neurospora’s morphological changes. This will allow for rapid screening of other factors that may be prone to causing morphological changes, such as inflammatory cytokines.
Zachara, Idalia; Jones, Chase; Camp, Paige; Hasan, Hamza; and Bouyer, Patrice, "Effect of Estrogen on Morphological Change in Candida albicans and Neurospora crassa" (2019). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 774.