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Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical

versão impressa ISSN 0037-8682


DANTAS, Marina Loyola et al. CD8+ T cells in situ in different clinical forms of human cutaneous leishmaniasis. Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop. [online]. 2013, vol.46, n.6, pp.728-734. ISSN 0037-8682.


Leishmania braziliensis infection induces a large spectrum of lesions that clinically manifest as nodules or papules that progress to ulcers. Although it is already known that T helper cells predominate in the lesions, cytotoxic T cells have also been reported to be present, and their role in leishmaniasis immunopathogenesis is not well known. This study investigated the amounts of CD8+ and granzyme B+ cells in different clinical forms of human cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL).


Forty tissue fragments from early (E-CL) and late CL (L-CL) lesions and from disseminated leishmaniasis (DL) - papules and ulcers - were characterized. The inflamed area per fragment was calculated, and the CD8 and granzyme B expression levels in the infiltrates were quantified by counting positive cells in 15 fields. The localization of CD8 and granzyme B was graded subjectively.


Inflammation was higher in L-CL and DL ulcers. CD8 expression was increased in late ulcerated lesions compared to recent lesions. The increase in CD8+ cells also correlated with the duration of the lesion. Papules had a higher frequency of granzyme B+ cells than E-CL lesions, although the frequency was similar to those for late and DL ulcers. CD8+ cells were mostly found in the papillary dermis.


CD8+ T and granzyme B+ cells are present in the inflammatory infiltrates of CL and DL and may participate in the immunopathogenesis of Leishmania infection.

Palavras-chave : Leishmaniasis; Cytotoxicity; Inflammation; Cutaneous; CD8; Human.

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