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

Selective fusion of azurophilic granules with Leishmania-containing phagosomes in human neutrophils.

Leishmania parasites use polymorphonuclear neutrophils as intermediate hosts before their ultimate delivery to macrophages following engulfment of parasite-infected neutrophils. This leads to a silent and unrecognized entry of Leishmania into the macrophage host cell. Neutrophil function depends on its cytoplasmic granules, but their mobilization and role in how Leishmania parasites evade intracellular killing in neutrophils remain undetermined. Here, we have found by ultrastructural approaches that neutrophils ingested Leishmania major promastigotes, and azurophilic granules fused in a preferential way with parasite-containing phagosomes, without promoting parasite killing. Azurophilic granules, identified by the granule marker myeloperoxidase, also fused with Leishmania donovani-engulfed vacuoles in human neutrophils. In addition, the azurophilic membrane marker CD63 was also detected in the vacuole surrounding the parasite, and in the fusion of azurophilic granules with the parasite-engulfed phagosome. Tertiary and specific granules, involved in vacuole acidification and superoxide anion generation, hardly fused with Leishmania-containing phagosomes. L. major interaction with neutrophils did not elicit production of reactive oxygen species or mobilization of tertiary and specific granules. By using immunogold electron microscopy approaches in the engulfment of L. major and L. donovani by human neutrophils, we did not find a significant contribution of endoplasmic reticulum to the formation of Leishmania-containing vacuoles. Live Leishmania parasites were required to be optimally internalized by neutrophils. Our data suggest that Leishmania promastigotes modulate their uptake by neutrophils, and regulate granule fusion processes in a rather selective way to favor parasite survival in human neutrophils.[1]


  1. Selective fusion of azurophilic granules with Leishmania-containing phagosomes in human neutrophils. Mollinedo, F., Janssen, H., de la Iglesia-Vicente, J., Villa-Pulgarin, J.A., Calafat, J. J. Biol. Chem. (2010) [Pubmed]
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