Leishmania infantum exerts immunomodulation in canine Kupffer cells reverted by meglumine antimoniate

A. Rodrigues, D. Santos-Mateus, G. Alexandre-Pires, A. Valério-Bolas, M. Rafael-Fernandes, M. A. Pereira, D. Ligeiro, J. de Jesus, R. Alves-Azevedo, S. Lopes-Ventura, M. Santos, A. M. Tomás, I. Pereira da Fonseca, G. Santos-Gomes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Kupffer cells (KC) are the liver macrophage population that resides in the hepatic sinusoids and efficiently phagocyte pathogens by establishing an intimate contact with circulating blood. KC constitute the liver host cells in Leishmania infection, nevertheless little is described about their role, apart from their notable contribution in granulomatous inflammation. The present study aims to investigate how canine KC sense and react to the presence of Leishmania infantum promastigotes and amastigotes by evaluating the gene expression of specific innate immune cell receptors and cytokines, as well as the induction of nitric oxide and urea production. Complementarily, the impact of a leishmanicidal drug – meglumine antimoniate (MgA) – in infected KC was also explored. KC revealed to be susceptible to both parasite forms and no major differences were found in the immune response generated. L. infantum parasites seem to interact with KC innate immune receptors and induce an anergic state, promoting immune tolerance and parasite survival. The addition of MgA to infected KC breaks the parasite imposed silence and increased gene expression of Toll-like receptors (TLR) 2 and TLR4, possibly activating downstream pathways. Understanding how KC sense and react to parasite presence could bring new insights into the control or even elimination of canine leishmaniasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-52
Number of pages11
JournalComparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Canine Kupffer cells
  • Cytokines
  • Innate immune receptors
  • Innate immunity
  • Leishmania infantum


Dive into the research topics of 'Leishmania infantum exerts immunomodulation in canine Kupffer cells reverted by meglumine antimoniate'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this