In vivo involvement of polymorphonuclear neutrophils in Leishmania infantum infectionReportar como inadecuado

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BMC Microbiology

, 1:17

First Online: 17 August 2001Received: 16 March 2001Accepted: 17 August 2001


BackgroundThe role of lymphocytes in the specific defence against L. infantum has been well established, but the part played by polynuclear neutrophil PN cells in controlling visceral leishmaniasis was much less studied. In this report we examine in vivo the participation of PN in early and late phases of infection by L. infantum.

ResultsPromastigote phagocytosis and killing occurs very early after infection, as demonstrated by electron microscopy analyses which show in BALB-c mouse spleen, but not in liver, numerous PN harbouring ultrastructurally degraded parasites. It is shown, using mAb RB6-8C5 directed against mature mouse granulocytes, that in chronically infected mice, long-term PN depletion did not enhance parasite counts neither in liver nor in spleen, indicating that these cells are not involved in the late phase of L. infantum infection. In acute stage of infection, in mouse liver, where L. infantum load is initially larger than that in spleen but resolves spontaneously, there was no significant effect of neutrophils depletion. By contrast, early in infection the neutrophil cells crucially contributed to parasite killing in spleen, since PN depletion, performed before and up to 7 days after the parasite inoculation, resulted in a ten-fold increase of parasite burden.

ConclusionsTaken together these data show that neutrophil cells contribute to the early control of the parasite growth in spleen but not in liver and that these cells have no significant effect late in infection in either of these target organs.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2180-1-17 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Déborah Rousseau - Sylvie Demartino - Bernard Ferrua - Jean François Michiels - Fabienne Anjuère - Konstantina Fragaki -


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