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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma-retinoid X receptor agonists increase CD36-dependent phagocytosis of Plasmodium falciparum-parasitized erythrocytes and decrease malaria- induced TNF-alpha secretion by monocytes/macrophages.

Severe and fatal malaria is associated with the failure of host defenses to control parasite replication, excessive secretion of proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF-alpha, and sequestration of parasitized erythrocytes (PEs) in vital organs. The identification of CD36 as a major sequestration receptor has led to the assumption that it contributes to the pathophysiology of severe malaria and has prompted the development of antiadherence therapies to disrupt the CD36-PE interaction. This concept has been challenged by unexpected evidence that individuals deficient in CD36 are more susceptible to severe and cerebral malaria. In this study, we demonstrate that CD36 is the major receptor mediating nonopsonic phagocytosis of PEs by macrophages, a clearance mechanism of potential importance in nonimmune hosts at the greatest risk of severe malaria. CD36- mediated uptake of PEs occurs via a novel pathway that does not involve thrombospondin, the vitronectin receptor, or phosphatidylserine recognition. Furthermore, we show that proliferator-activated receptor gamma-retinoid X receptor agonists induce an increase in CD36- mediated phagocytosis and a decrease in parasite- induced TNF-alpha secretion. Specific up-regulation of monocyte/macrophage CD36 may represent a novel therapeutic strategy to prevent or treat severe malaria.[1]


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