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Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 2002 Jul-Aug;35(4):365-75.

[Immunopathology of leprosy: the complexity of the mechanisms of host immune response to Mycobacterium leprae].

[Article in Portuguese]

Author information

1
Departamento de Clínica Médica, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, Uberlândia, MG. imbgoulart@ufu.br

Abstract

Leprosy, whose etiologic agent Mycobacterium leprae, is an illness of ample clinical and immunopathological spectrum. Its clinical manifestations are correlated with distinct immunologic forms, varying from a vigorous immune response mediated by cells to M. leprae, with Th1 standard in the tuberculoid polar region, to an absence of specific cellular response to antigens of M. leprae in the lepromatous polar region, with predominance of Th2 response and exacerbation of humoral response. It is probable that different polymorphic genes determine susceptibility to M. leprae. Additional studies are necessary to clarify the complex interactions between cytokines and the role of the phenotypic diversity of cells network that contribute to the host defense. The comprehension of such mechanisms will provide new insights for the identification of agonists and/or antagonists for pro- or anti-inflammatory effects, and also will indicate possible situations for its appropriate use in immunologic and/or immunotherapeutic interventions.

PMID:
12170333
DOI:
10.1590/s0037-86822002000400014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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