Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
We investigated the cytokine profile of cells of the innate immune response and its association with active (ACT), asymptomatic (AS) and cured (CUR) human visceral leishmaniasis (VL), as well as noninfected (NI) subjects. The frequency of cytokine-producing cells was determined after short-term in vitro incubation of whole peripheral blood samples with soluble Leishmania antigen (SLA). Our data demonstrated a predominant type 2 cytokine profile in NI and ACT. In NI, we observed an increase of IL-4+ neutrophils, IL-10+ eosinophils besides a decrease of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α+ eosinophils/monocytes. Yet in ACT, we observed an increase of IL-4+ neutrophils and natural killer (NK) cells and IL-10+ monocytes, a reduced frequency of IL-12+ and IFN-γ+ eosinophils and lower levels of TNF-α+ and IL-12+ monocytes. AS presented a mixed profile, characterized by an increase of IFN-γ+ neutrophils/eosinophils and NK cells, of IL-12+ eosinophils/monocytes, as well as increase of IL-4+ neutrophils and NK cells and IL-10+ eosinophils/monocytes. In contrast, CUR was characterized by a type 1 response with an increase of IFN-γ+ neutrophils/eosinophils and NK cells, associated with an increase in IL-12+ monocytes. In conclusion, we show a correlation between innate immune cytokine patterns and clinical status of VL, suggesting that these cells, in addition to other factors, may contribute to the cytokine microenvironment in which Leishmania-specific T cells are primed and to disease outcome.
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