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

Parasite-driven in vitro human lymphocyte cytotoxicity against autologous infected macrophages from mucosal leishmaniasis.

Parasite-specific cytotoxicity in human leishmaniasis was evaluated in an autologous system. PBL from cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) or mucosal leishmaniasis (ML) patients were exposed to Leishmania amazonensis-infected autologous macrophages for 7 days and then used as effector cells in a cytotoxic assay using 51Cr-labeled autologous infected macrophages as targets. Results are reported as LU per 10(7) PBMC. Cytotoxic activity is present in ML (9.7 +/- 2.1 LU/10(7) PBMC) but not in CL (1.5 +/- 2.4 LU/10(7) PBMC) patients' lymphocytes, and the differences were highly significant (p < 0.0001). Both CD8+ T cells and NK cells exhibited cytotoxic activity. Addition of rIL-12, but not of IFN-gamma, during the generation of effector cells increased cytotoxic responses against infected macrophages. On the other hand, addition of mAb against human IL-12 or IFN-gamma during the stimulation of PBL significantly decreased the cytotoxic responses. Addition of IL-10 led to diminished cytotoxic responses, whereas the addition of anti-IL-10 did not significantly increase the cytotoxic responses. The observation of parasite-driven autologous cytotoxic responses in patients with ML, the destructive form of leishmaniasis, but not in CL, suggests that this phenomenon is involved in tissue pathology rather than in protection. Understanding the regulation of cytotoxic responses in leishmaniasis may be relevant to strategies aimed at limiting pathologic tissue destruction.[1]


  1. Parasite-driven in vitro human lymphocyte cytotoxicity against autologous infected macrophages from mucosal leishmaniasis. Brodskyn, C.I., Barral, A., Boaventura, V., Carvalho, E., Barral-Netto, M. J. Immunol. (1997) [Pubmed]
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