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FEBS J. 2016 Feb;283(4):598-607. doi: 10.1111/febs.13601. Epub 2015 Dec 14.

Leishmania hijacking of the macrophage intracellular compartments.

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Anti-Parasitic Chemotherapy, Faculté de Pharmacie, CNRS, UMR 8076 BioCIS, Châtenay-Malabry, France.
Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, France.
Faculté de Pharmacie, Laboratory of Excellence in Research on Medication and Innovative Therapeutics (LabEx LERMIT), Châtenay-Malabry, France.


Leishmania spp., transmitted to humans by the bite of the sandfly vector, are responsible for the three major forms of leishmaniasis, cutaneous, diffuse mucocutaneous and visceral. Leishmania spp. interact with membrane receptors of neutrophils and macrophages. In macrophages, the parasite is internalized within a parasitophorous vacuole and engages in a particular intracellular lifestyle in which the flagellated, motile Leishmania promastigote metacyclic form differentiates into non-motile, metacyclic amastigote form. This phenomenon is induced by Leishmania-triggered events leading to the fusion of the parasitophorous vacuole with vesicular members of the host cell endocytic pathway including recycling endosomes, late endosomes and the endoplasmic reticulum. Maturation of the parasitophorous vacuole leads to the intracellular proliferation of the Leishmania amastigote forms by acquisition of host cell nutrients while escaping host defense responses.


Leishmania; intracellular life cycle stages; macrophages; parasitophorous vacuole; secretory pathway

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