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Parasite Immunol. 2003 Mar;25(3):127-34.

Immunomodulatory effects of Maxadilan and Phlebotomus papatasi sand fly salivary gland lysates on human primary in vitro immune responses.

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Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.


Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease transmitted by the bite of Leishmania-infected sand flies. Here we show for the first time the ability of Maxadilan (Max), a vasodilatory peptide isolated from the sand fly Lutzomyia longipalpis, and salivary gland lysate (SGL) from Phlebotomus papatasi to decrease the secretion of Type 1 cytokines and to enhance the production of the Type 2 cytokine interleukin (IL)-6 by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and monocytes. We found Max decreased the secretion of interferon (IFN)-gamma and IL-12p40 by PBMC and TNF-alpha by monocytes. SGL reduced the production of IFN-gamma by PBMC. In contrast, production of the Type 2 cytokine IL-6 was increased in Max or SGL-exposed cells. Finally, we determined that Max interacts with human cells through at least the pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide receptor. These results show that sand fly salivary gland components have an immunomodulatory effect on human cells, and this has important implications for the development of vaccines against leishmaniasis for humans.

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