The critical role of CO2 in the morphogenesis of Coccidioides immitis in cell-free subcutaneous chambers

Stephen A. Klotz, David J. Drutz, Milton Huppert, Sung H. Sun, Peter L. DeMarsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In order to ascertain the factors controlling conversion of Coccidioides immitis arthroconidia to endosporulating spherules, studies were conducted with the use of subcutaneously implanted dialysis chambers in mice. The dialysate had the following characteristics: pH, ~7.36; CO2 partial pressure, ~50 mm Hg; O2 partial pressure, ~140 mm Hg; protein content, ~20 mg/ml; and no cells. When chambers were inoculated with arthroconidia, endosporulating spherules developed. Introduction of syngeneic phagocytes had no effect. When dialysate or autologous serum was studied in vitro in room air, arthroconidia converted to mycelia unless CO2 supplementation (CO2 partial pressure, 20-80 mm Hg) was provided, in which case endosporulating spherules developed. The effect of CO2 could not be reproduced with either NaHCO3 or other buffers. These studies indicate that CO2 at a partial pressure found in normal host tissues is essential for formation of endosporulating spherules and that host phagocytes are not needed for such conversion in tissue fluids, either in vivo or in vitro.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-134
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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