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The role of Interleukin-10 in susceptibility of BALB/c mice to infection with Leishmania mexicana and Leishmania amazonensis

Padigel, U.M. and Alexander, J. and Farrell, J.P. (2003) The role of Interleukin-10 in susceptibility of BALB/c mice to infection with Leishmania mexicana and Leishmania amazonensis. Journal of Immunology, 171. pp. 3705-3710. ISSN 0022-1767

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Abstract

Recent studies have demonstrated the critical role of IL-10 in susceptibility to cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania major and Leishmania donovani, respectively. To determine whether IL-10 also plays a similar role in the susceptibility and pathogenesis of cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by the New World species, L. mexicana and L. amazonensis, we analyzed their course of infection in IL-10-deficient BALB/c mice and their wild-type counterparts. Although IL-10-deficient mice infected with either L. mexicana or L. amazonensis failed to control the lesion progression, we did observe consistently lower levels of infection in IL-10-/- mice compared with wild-type BALB/c mice. We also observed increased IFN-{gamma} and NO production and higher levels for IL-12p40 and IL-12R{beta}2 mRNA in cells from IL-10-/- mice compared with cells from BALB/c mice. The mRNA levels for IL-4, which increased significantly in both IL-10-/- and BALB/c mice, were comparable. When treated with anti-IL-4 mAb, IL-10-/- mice resolved the infection more effectively and had significantly fewer parasites in their lesions compared with similarly treated BALB/c mice. These findings suggest that IL-10, although not the dominant mediator of susceptibility of BALB/c mice to infection with L. mexicana and L. amazonensis, does play a significant role in regulating the development of a protective Th1-type response. However, effective resolution of infection with these New World parasites requires neutralization of both IL-4 and IL-10.