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Mediators Inflamm. 2012;2012:595694. doi: 10.1155/2012/595694. Epub 2012 Apr 10.

Role of leukotrienes on protozoan and helminth infections.

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  • 1Laboratory of Experimental Immunopharmacology, Federal University of Triângulo Mineiro, Rua Vigário Carlos 162, 38025-380 Uberaba, MG, Brazil.


Leukotrienes (LTs), formed by the 5-lipoxygenase-(5-LO-) catalyzed oxidation of arachidonic acid, are lipid mediators that have potent proinflammatory activities. Pharmacologic or genetic inhibition of 5-LO biosynthesis in animals is associated with increased mortality and impaired clearance of bacteria, fungi, and parasites. LTs play a role in the control of helminth and protozoan infections by modulating the immune system and/or through direct cytotoxicity to parasites; however, LTs may also be associated with pathogenesis, such as in cerebral malaria and schistosomal granuloma. Interestingly, some proteins from the saliva of insect vectors that transmit protozoans and secreted protein from helminth could bind LTs and may consequently modulate the course of infection or pathogenesis. In addition, the decreased production of LTs in immunocompromised individuals might modulate the pathophysiology of helminth and protozoan infections. Herein, in this paper, we showed the immunomodulatory and pathogenic roles of LTs during the helminth and protozoan infections.

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