Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Vector Borne Dis. 2017 Apr-Jun;54(2):139-145.

Effect of L-arginine on the growth of Plasmodium falciparum and immune modulation of host cells.

Author information

Immunology Division, ICMR-National Institute of Malaria Research, New Delhi, India.
ICMR Virus Unit, ID & BG Hospital, Kolkata, India.



Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by Plasmodium parasites. The life-cycle of Plasmodium species involves several stages both in mosquito and the vertebrate host. In the erythrocytic stage, Plasmodium resides inside the red blood cells (RBCs), where it meets most of its nutritional requirement by degrad- ing host's haemoglobin. L-arginine is required for growth and division of cells. The present study was aimed to demonstrate the effect of supplementation of different concentrations of L-arginine and L-citrulline on the growth of parasite, and effect of the culture supernatant on the host's peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs).


To examine the effect of supplementation of L-arginine and L-citrulline, Plasmodium falciparum (3D7 strain) was cultured in RPMI 1640, L-arginine deficient RPMI 1640, and in different concentrations of L-arginine, and L-citrulline supplemented in arginine deficient RPMI 1640 medium. To have a holistic view of in vivo cell activation, the PBMCs isolated from healthy human host were cultured in the supernatant collected from P. falciparum culture.


Growth of the parasite was greatly enhanced in L-arginine supplemented media and was found to be concentration dependent. However, parasite growth was compromised in L-citrulline supplemented and L-arginine deficient media. The supernatant collected from L-arginine supplemented parasite media (sArg) showed increased FOXP3 and interleukin-10 (IL-10) expression as compared to the supernatant collected from L-citrulline supple- mented parasite media (sCit).


The in vitro culture results showed, decreased parasite growth, and decreased expression of programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) (a coinhibitory molecule) and IL-10 in the L-citrulline supplemented media as compared to L-arginine supplemented media. Hence, it was concluded that L-citrulline supplementation would be a better alternative than L-arginine to inhibit the parasite growth.

Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Medknow Publications and Media Pvt Ltd
    Loading ...
    Support Center