Submitted to: Mycologia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/27/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: In the course of studying polycystic kidney disease, a medical laboratory experienced fungal contamination of cell culture flasks and asked for an identification of the fungus. The fungus is a new species, and we have described it with the name Penicillium pimiteouiense. Because it has only been found in cell culture flasks that have been seeded with cells from polycystic kidneys, we surmise that this species may play some role in the progression of chronic polycystic kidney disease to end-phase disease. The exact role, if any, of this fungus in polycystic kidney disease remains to be determined.
Technical Abstract: As part of a study of polycystic kidney disease (PKD), epithelial cells were isolated and propagated from cyst walls of human kidneys obtained at nephrectomy. In some of the cell cultures, a Penicillium species was found growing with the epithelial cells. This Penicillium is phenotypically similar to P. restrictum but differs in rDNA nucleotide sequence and displays morphological differences that make it incompatible with the description of P. restrictum. We describe six strains isolated from diseased kidney cell culture material as the new species Penicillium pimiteouiense. Various Penicillium and Aspergillus species are known to produce ochratoxin A, a potent nephrotoxin, and other toxic secondary metabolites. Ochratoxin A production was assayed, but not detected in P. pimiteouiense. The role this fungus plays in polycystic kidney disease is not known, but previously found evidence of fungal DNA, including multiple fungal antigens and antifungal antibodies in human PKD kidney tissue and cyst fluid is consistent with microbial involvement in disease progression.