Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Microbiol. 2015 Apr;17(4):542-58. doi: 10.1111/cmi.12382. Epub 2014 Nov 22.

Plasmodium berghei histamine-releasing factor favours liver-stage development via inhibition of IL-6 production and associates with a severe outcome of disease.

Author information

Institut Pasteur, Unité de Biologie des Interactions Hôte Parasites, Paris, F-75015, France; Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Unité de Recherche Associée 2581, CEDEX 15, Paris, F-75724, France.


Plasmodium spp., which causes malaria, produces a histamine-releasing factor (HRF), an orthologue of mammalian HRF. Histamine-releasing factor produced by erythrocytic stages of the parasite is thought to play a role in the pathogenesis of severe malaria. Here, we show in a rodent model that HRF is not important during the erythrocytic but pre-erythrocytic phase of infection, which mainly consists in the transformation in the liver of the mosquito-injected parasite form into the erythrocyte-infecting form. Development of P. berghei ANKA cl15cy1 liver stages lacking HRF is impaired and associated with an early rise in systemic IL-6, a cytokine that strongly suppresses development of Plasmodium liver stages. The defect is rescued by injection of anti-IL-6 antibodies or infection in IL-6-deficient mice and parasite HRF is sufficient to decrease IL-6 synthesis, indicating a direct role of parasite HRF in reducing host IL-6. The target cells modulated by HRF for IL-6 production at early time points during liver infection are neutrophils. Parasite HRF is thus used to down-regulate a cytokine with anti-parasite activity. Our data also highlight the link between a prolonged transition from liver to blood-stage infection and reduced incidence of experimental cerebral malaria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center