Send to

Choose Destination
FASEB J. 2005 Jun;19(8):1000-2. Epub 2005 Apr 5.

Arginase and polyamine synthesis are key factors in the regulation of experimental leishmaniasis in vivo.

Author information

Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, UK.


Arginase 1, an enzyme induced by Th2 cytokines, is a hallmark of alternatively activated macrophages and is responsible for the hydrolysis of L-arginine into ornithine, the building block for the production of polyamines. Upregulation of arginase 1 has been observed in a variety of diseases, but the mechanisms by which arginase contributes to pathology are not well understood. We reveal here a unique role for arginase 1 in the pathogenesis of nonhealing leishmaniasis, a prototype Th2 disease, and demonstrate that the activity of this enzyme promotes pathology and uncontrolled growth of Leishmania parasites in vivo. Inhibition of arginase activity during the course of infection has a clear therapeutic effect, as evidenced by markedly reduced pathology and efficient control of parasite replication. Despite the clear amelioration of the disease, this treatment does not alter the Th2 response. To address the underlying mechanisms, the arginase-induced L-arginine catabolism was investigated and the results demonstrate that arginase regulates parasite growth directly by affecting the polyamine synthesis in macrophages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center