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Infect Immun. 2005 Sep;73(9):6085-90.

Arginase I induction during Leishmania major infection mediates the development of disease.

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Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Extremadura. Avda. de la Universidad s/n, Cáceres 10071, Spain.


In a previous work, we demonstrated that the induction of arginase I favored the replication of Leishmania inside macrophages. Now we have analyzed the differential expression of this enzyme in the mouse model of L. major infection. Ours results show that arginase I is induced in both susceptible and resistant mice during the development of the disease. However, in BALB/c-infected tissues, the induction of this protein parallels the time of infection, while in C57BL/6 mice, the enzyme is upregulated only during footpad swelling. The induction of the host arginase in both strains is mediated by the balance between interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-12 and opposite to nitric oxide synthase II expression. Moreover, inhibition of arginase reduces the number of parasites and delays disease outcome in BALB/c mice, while treatment with l-ornithine increases the susceptibility of C57BL/6 mice. Therefore, arginase I induction could be considered a marker of disease in leishmaniasis.

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