Altered dendritic cell phenotype in response to Leishmania amazonensis amastigote infection is mediated by MAP kinase, ERK.

Department of Veterinary Pathology, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA.
American Journal Of Pathology (Impact Factor: 4.6). 05/2009; 174(5):1818-26. DOI: 10.2353/ajpath.2009.080905
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Initiation of productive immune responses against Leishmania depends on the successful transition of dendritic cells (DC) from an immature to a mature phenotype. This process is characterized by high CD40 surface expression as well as interleukin-12 production, which are frequently seen in response to L. major infection. In vivo footpad infection of C3HeB/FeJ mice for 7 days with L. amazonensis promoted an immature CD11c(+) DC phenotype characterized by both significantly low CD40 surface expression and significantly decreased interleukin-12p40 production compared with L. major infection of these same mice. In vitro infection of bone marrow-derived dendritic cells with L. amazonensis amastigotes resulted in rapid and significant phosphorylation of the mitogen activated protein kinase, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, observed within minutes of exposure to the parasite. Infection with L. amazonensis promastigotes led to increased 1/2 phosphorylation after 4 hours of infection compared with L. major infection, which correlated with promastigote transformation into amastigotes. Treatment of bone marrow-derived dendritic cells with a mitogen activated protein kinase kinase-specific inhibitor, PD98059, led to regained surface CD40 expression and interleukin-12p40 production following L. amazonensis amastigote infection compared with non-treated, infected DC. Treatment of L. amazonensis-infected mice with the highly-specific mitogen activated protein kinase kinase inhibitor, CI-1040, enhanced surface CD40 expression on CD11c(+) DC obtained from the draining lymph node. L. amazonensis amastigotes, through activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, inhibit the ability of DC to undergo proper maturation both in vitro and in vivo.

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    ABSTRACT: Leishmania amazonensis is an intracellular protozoan parasite responsible for chronic cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). CL is a neglected tropical disease responsible for infecting millions of people worldwide. L. amazonensis promotes alteration of various signaling pathways that are essential for host cell survival. Specifically, through parasite-mediated phosphorylation of extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK), L. amazonensis inhibits cell-mediated parasite killing and promotes its own survival by co-opting multiple host cell functions. In this review, we highlight Leishmania-host cell signaling alterations focusing on those specific to (1) motor proteins, (2) prevention of NADPH subunit phosphorylation impairing reactive oxygen species production, and (3) localized endosomal signaling to up-regulate ERK phosphorylation. This review will focus upon mechanisms and possible explanations as to how Leishmania spp. evades the various layers of defense employed by the host immune response.
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    ABSTRACT: Neutrophils are involved in early stages of immune responses to pathogens. Here, we investigated the role of neutrophils during the establishment of Leishmania amazonensis infection in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. First, we showed an accumulation of neutrophils between 6 and 24 hours post-infection, followed by a reduction in neutrophil numbers after 72 hours. Next, we depleted neutrophils prior to infection using RB6-8C5 or 1A8 mAb. Neutrophil depletion led to faster lesion development, increased parasite numbers and higher arginase activity during the first week of infection in BALB/c mice, but not in C57BL/6 mice. Increased susceptibility was accompanied by augmented levels of anti-L. amazonensis IgG and increased production of IL-10 and IL-17. Because IL-10 is a mediator of susceptibility to Leishmania infection, we blocked IL-10 signaling in neutrophil-depleted mice using anti-IL-10R. Interestingly, inhibition of IL-10 signaling abrogated the increase in parasite loads observed in neutrophil-depleted mice, suggesting that parasite proliferation is at least partially mediated by IL-10. Additionally, we tested the effect of IL-17 in inflammatory macrophages and observed that IL-17 increased arginase activity and favored parasite growth. Taken together, our data indicate that neutrophils control parasite numbers and limit lesion development during the first week of infection in BALB/c mice. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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    ABSTRACT: Leishmania amazonensis infection promotes alteration of host cellular signaling and intracellular parasite survival, but specific mechanisms are poorly understood. We previously demonstrated that L. amazonensis infection of dendritic cells (DC) activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), a MAP-kinase kinase kinase, leading to altered DC maturation and non-healing cutaneous leishmaniasis. Studies using growth factors and cell lines have shown that targeted, robust, intracellular phosphorylation of ERK1/2 from phagolysosomes required recruitment and association with scaffolding proteins, including p14/MP1 and MORG1, on the surface of late endosomes. Based on the intracellular localization of L. amazonensis within a parasitophorous vacuole with late endosome characteristics, we speculated that scaffolding proteins would be important for intracellular parasite-mediated ERK signaling. Our findings demonstrate that MP1, MORG1, and ERK all co-localized on the surface of parasite-containing LAMP2-positive phagolysosomes. Infection of MEK1 mutant fibroblasts unable to bind MP1 demonstrated dramatically reduced ERK1/2 phosphorylation following L. amazonensis infection but not following positive control EGF treatment. This novel mechanism for localization of intracellular L. amazonensis-mediated ERK1/2 phosphorylation required the endosomal scaffold protein MP1 and localized to L. amazonensis parasitophorous vacuoles. Understanding how L. amazonensis parasites hijack host cell scaffold proteins to modulate signaling cascades provides targets for antiprotozoal drug development.
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