Cytokine 2016 12 17;88:184-192. Epub 2016 Sep 17.
Instituto de Patologia Tropical e Saúde Pública, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil. Electronic address:
While the role of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) has been investigated in murine models of tegumentary leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis, the interaction between TLRs and Leishmania sp. has not been investigated in human cells. The aim of this study was to evaluate the involvement of TLR4 in cytokine production of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) induced by L. braziliensis, and whether the parasite alters the expression of TLR4 on monocytes/macrophages. Amastigote forms were obtained from mice lesions and PBMCs were isolated from healthy donors. PBMCs were cultured in absence or presence of IFNγ, TLR4 neutralizing antibodies, natural antagonist of TLR4 (Bartonella LPS), TLR4 agonist (E. coli LPS), and amastigote forms. The concentrations of tumor necrosis factor (TNFα) and interleukin 10 (IL-10) were assayed by ELISA and TLR4 expression by flow cytometry. Amastigotes forms of L. braziliensis induced TNFα and IL-10 production only in IFNγ-primed PBMCs. The TNFα and IL-10 production was inhibited by TLR4 neutralization, both with anti-TLR4 antibodies and Bartonella LPS. Interestingly, addition of E. coli LPS further increased TNFα but not IL-10 production induced by L. braziliensis amastigotes. Amastigotes of L. braziliensis strongly reduced membrane TLR4 expression on monocytes/macrophages, apparently by internalization after the infection. The present study reveals that TLR4 drives the production of TNFα and IL-10 induced by L. braziliensis amastigotes and that the parasites decrease TLR4 expression on monocyte surface.