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ABSTRACT: Human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is frequently found in poor population who are suffering from malnutrition in endemic areas. Therefore, obviously they may have reduced levels of leptin due to reduction in number of adipocytes which are major source of leptin production. Human pathogenesis of VL and reduced levels of leptin both are associated with increase in Th2 type immune response, characterized by secretion of cytokines such as IL-4 and IL-10. Whereas, the protective immune response during visceral leishmaniasis is associated with effective Th1 type immune response characterized by secretion of IFN-γ, IL-2 and IL-12, which correlates with leptin induction of T cells polarizing to Th1 population and secretion of proinflammatory cytokines, and also inhibition of Th2 type response. Therefore, we hypothesized that leptin might be effective in treatment of visceral leishmaniasis alone or VL patients who have co-infection with other immune deficiency syndromes such as AIDS/diabetes/autoimmune disorders by regulation of Th1/Th2 homeostasis.
Medical Hypotheses 07/2011; 77(3):416-8. · 1.05 Impact Factor