Effects of Leishmania major clones showing different levels of virulence on infectivity, differentiation and maturation of human dendritic cells.

Abstract : Leishmania parasites and dendritic cell interactions (DCs) play an essential role in initiating and directing T cell responses and influence disease evolution. These interactions may vary depending on Leishmania species and strains. To evaluate the correlation between Leishmania major (Lm) virulence and in-vitro human DC response, we compared the ability of high (HV) and low virulent (LV) Lm clones to invade, modulate cytokine production and interfere with differentiation of DCs. Clones derived from HV and LV (HVΔlmpdi and LVΔlmpdi), and deleted for the gene coding for a Lm protein disulphide isomerase (LmPDI), probably involved in parasite natural pathogenicity, were also used. Unlike LV, which fails to invade DCs in half the donors, HV promastigotes were associated with a significant increase of the infected cells percentage and parasite burden. A significant decrease of both parameters was observed in HVΔlmpdi-infected DCs, compared to wild-type cells. Whatever Lm virulence, DC differentiation was accompanied by a significant decrease in CD1a expression. Lm clones decreased interleukin (IL)-12p70 production similarly during lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced maturation of DCs. LPS stimulation was associated with a weak increase in tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α and IL-10 productions in HV-, HVΔlmpdi- and LVΔlmpdi-infected DCs. These results indicate that there is a significant variability in the capacity of Lm clones to infect human DCs which depends upon their virulence, probably involving LmPDI protein. However, independently of their virulence, Lm clones were able to down-regulate CD1a expression during DC differentiation and IL-12p70 production during DC maturation, which may favour their survival.
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W. Markikou-Ouni, Y. Ben Achour-Chenik, A. Meddeb-Garnaoui. Effects of Leishmania major clones showing different levels of virulence on infectivity, differentiation and maturation of human dendritic cells.. Clinical and Experimental Immunology, Wiley, 2012, 169 (3), pp.273-80. ⟨10.1111/j.1365-2249.2012.04611.x⟩. ⟨pasteur-00859424⟩

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