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Int J Parasitol. 2003 Feb;33(2):153-62.

Leishmania (Leishmania) chagasi infection alters the expression of cell adhesion and costimulatory molecules on human monocyte and macrophage.

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Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal da Bahia Gonçalo Moniz, Fiocruz, Salvador, BA, Brazil.


The initial steps of Leishmania infection in humans are largely unknown. There is limited information on the Leishmania infected human monocytes, the first cells that the parasite lives in, particularly related to costimulatory molecules. We show here that Leishmania (L.) chagasi infection avoids inducing proinflammatory molecules and has striking down modulating effects on human monocytes or macrophages. It does not induce CD54, interleukin (IL)-12 or tumour necrosis factor-alpha, potent proinflammatory cytokines and down modulates CD11b expression in monocytes. Lipopolysaccharide stimulated IL-12 (p40) levels, CD54 and HLA-DR expression are diminished in infected monocytes as well as interferon-gamma stimulated HLA-DR and HLA-ABC expression in infected macrophages. There is a negative correlation between CD54 and CD86 expression in both monocytes and macrophages. The depressed expression of class I and II molecules, absence of key proinflammatory cytokines and impaired expression of costimulatory molecules induced by L. chagasi could leave the immune system, at least in its initial phases in anergy or ignorance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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