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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
On-line version ISSN 1414-431X
BARRAL-NETTO, M.; BRODSKYN, C.; CARVALHO, E.M. and BARRAL, A.. Human_Leishmaniasis@cytokines.bahia.br. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 1998, vol.31, n.1, pp. 149-155. ISSN 1414-431X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-879X1998000100021.
The cell-mediated immune response is critical in the resistance to and recovery from leishmaniasis. Cytokines are central elements in mounting an immune response and have received a great deal of attention in both human and experimental leishmaniasis. IFN-g is responsible for macrophage activation leading to leishmanicidal mechanisms. Understanding the balance of cytokines that lead to enhanced production of or synergize with IFN-g, and those cytokines that counterbalance its effects is fundamental for developing rational immunotherapeutic or immunoprophylactic approaches to leishmaniasis. Here we focus on the cytokine balance in human leishmaniasis, particularly IL-10 as an IFN-g opposing cytokine, and IL-12 as an IFN-g inducer. The effects of these cytokines were evaluated in terms of several parameters of the human immune response. IL-10 reduced lymphocyte proliferation, IFN-g production and cytotoxic activity of responsive human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Neutralization of IL-10 led to partial restoration of lymphoproliferation, IFN-g production and cytotoxic activity in unresponsive visceral leishmaniasis patients. IL-12 also restored the responses of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from visceral leishmaniasis patients. The responses obtained with IL-12 are higher than those obtained with anti-IL-10, even when anti-IL-10 is combined with anti-IL-4
Keywords : cytokines; human leishmaniasis; immunoregulation; IL-12; IL-10.