Immune responses induced by a Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis recombinant antigen in mice and lymphocytes from vaccinated subjects

Ana Paula FERNANDES Elizabeth Cortez HERRERA Wilson MAYRINK Ricardo T. GAZZINELLI Wen Yu LIU Carlos Alberto da COSTA Carlos Alberto Pereira TAVARES Maria Norma MELO Marilene Susan Marques MICHALICK Reiner GENTZ Evaldo NASCIMENTO

In the search for Leishmania recombinant antigens that can be used as a vaccine against American Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, we identified a Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis recombinant protein of 33 kD (Larp33) which is recognized by antibodies and peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) from subjects vaccinated with Leishvacin ®, Larp33 was expressed in Escherichia coli after cloning of a 2,2 kb Sau3A digested genomic fragment of L. (L.) amazonensis into the pDS56-6 His vector. Immunoblotting analysis indicated that Larp33 corresponds to an approximately 40-kD native protein expressed in promastigotes of L.(L.) amazonensis and L. (Viannia) braziliensis. Northern blots of total RNA also demonstrated that the gene coding for this protein is expressed in promastigotes of the major lineages of Leishmania causing American Cutaneous Leishmaniasis. Larp33 induced partial protection in susceptible mouse strains (BALB/c and C57BL/10) against L. (L.) amazonensis after vaccination using Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) as adjuvant. In vitro stimulation of splenocytes from BALB/c protected mice with Larp33 elicited the secretion of IL-2 and IFN-<FONT FACE="Symbol">g</font>, suggesting that a Th1 cell-mediated protective response is associated with the resistance observed in these mice. As revealed by its immunogenic and antigenic properties, this novel recombinant antigen is a suitable candidate to compose a vaccine against cutaneous leishmaniasis

Leishmania; Vaccination; Recombinant Antigens; Cytokines

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