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Parasitol Int. 2009 Dec;58(4):475-7. doi: 10.1016/j.parint.2009.07.002. Epub 2009 Jul 8.

In vivo induction of the autophagic machinery in human bone marrow cells during Leishmania donovani complex infection.

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First Department of Internal Medicine, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece.


Autophagy is a homeostatic process promoting cell survival in periods of stress. The induction of the autophagic machinery has also been implicated in both innate and adaptive immunity. Leishmania donovani, which is the causative pathogen of visceral leishmaniasis, is an intracellular parasite that invades and multiplies in bone marrow macrophages. We describe the induction of host cell autophagic machinery during acute natural bone marrow infection by L. donovani complex, detected by LC3B immunoblot. The successful treatment with liposomal amphotericin B resulted in the resolution of this phenomenon. Even though the role of autophagy in parasite biology has been previously studied, our findings show for the first time the in vivo host cell LC3B conversion as a marker of the induction of the autophagic machinery during infection with Leishmania parasite in real time conditions.

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