Leishmania amazonensis-Induced cAMP Triggered by Adenosine A2B Receptor Is Important to Inhibit Dendritic Cell Activation and Evade Immune Response in Infected Mice.
ABSTRACT: Differently from others Leishmania species, infection by the protozoan parasite L. amazonensis is associated with a lack of antigen-specific T-cell responses. Dendritic cells (DC) are essential for the innate immune response and for directing the differentiation of T-helper lymphocytes. Previously, we showed that L. amazonensis infection impairs DC activation through the activation of adenosine A2B receptor, and here, we evaluated the intracellular events triggered by this receptor in infected cells. To this aim, bone marrow-derived DC from C57BL/6J mice were infected with metacyclic promastigotes of L. amazonensis. Our results show, for the first time, that L. amazonensis increases the production of cAMP and the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) in infected DC by a mechanism dependent on the A2B receptor. Furthermore, L. amazonensis impairs CD40 expression and IL-12 production by DC, and the inhibition of adenylate cyclase, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), and ERK1/2 prevent these effects. The increase of ERK1/2 phosphorylation and the inhibition of DC activation by L. amazonensis are independent of protein kinase A (PKA). In addition, C57BL/6J mice were inoculated in the ears with metacyclic promastigotes, in the presence of PSB1115, an A2B receptor antagonist. PSB1115 treatment increases the percentage of CD40+ DC on ears and draining lymph nodes. Furthermore, this treatment reduces lesion size and tissue parasitism. Lymph node cells from treated mice produce higher levels of IFN-? than control mice, without altering the production of IL-10. In conclusion, we suggest a new pathway used by the parasite (A2B receptor???cAMP???PI3K???ERK1/2) to suppress DC activation, which may contribute to the decrease of IFN-? production following by the deficiency in immune response characteristic of L. amazonensis infection.
Project description:Cutaneous leishmaniasis associated with Leishmania amazonensis infection is characterized by uncontrolled parasite replication and profound immunosuppression; however, the underlying mechanisms remain largely unclear. One possibility is that the L. amazonensis parasite modulates antigen-presenting cells, favoring the generation of pathogenic Th cells that are capable of recruiting leukocytes but insufficient to fully activate their microbicidal activities. To test this possibility, we infected bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (DCs) of C57BL/6 mice with L. amazonensis or Leishmania major promastigotes and assessed the activation of DC subsets and their capacity in priming CD4(+) T cells in vitro. In comparison to L. major controls, L. amazonensis-infected DCs secreted lower levels of interleukin-1alpha (IL-1alpha) and IL-1beta, were less potent in activating the IL-12p40-producing CD11c(high) CD45RB(-) CD83(+) CD40(+) DC subset, and preferentially activated CD4(+) T cells with a IFN-gamma(low) IL-10(high) IL-17(high) phenotype. Although the addition of IL-1beta at the time of infection markedly enhanced DC activation and T-cell priming, it did not skew the cytokine profile of DCs and pathogenic Th cells, as local injection of IL-1beta following L. amazonensis infection accelerated Th cell activation and disease progression. This study suggests that intrinsic defects at the level of DC activation are responsible for the susceptible phenotype in L. amazonensis-infected hosts and that this parasite may have evolved unique mechanisms to interfere with innate and adaptive immunity.
Project description:Leishmaniasis is one of the leading globally neglected diseases, affecting millions of people worldwide. <i>Leishmania</i> infection depends on the ability of insect-transmitted metacyclic promastigotes to invade mammalian hosts, differentiate into amastigotes, and replicate inside macrophages. To counter the hostile oxidative environment inside macrophages, these protozoans contain anti-oxidant systems that include iron-dependent superoxide dismutases (SODs) in mitochondria and glycosomes. Increasing evidence suggests that in addition to this protective role, <i>Leishmania</i> mitochondrial SOD may also initiate H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub>-mediated redox signaling that regulates gene expression and metabolic changes associated with differentiation into virulent forms. To investigate this hypothesis, we examined the specific role of SODA, the mitochondrial SOD isoform in <i>Leishmania amazonensis</i> Our inability to generate <i>L. amazonensis SODA</i> null mutants and the lethal phenotype observed following RNAi-mediated silencing of the <i>Trypanosoma brucei SODA</i> ortholog suggests that SODA is essential for trypanosomatid survival. <i>L. amazonensis</i> metacyclic promastigotes lacking one <i>SODA</i> allele failed to replicate in macrophages and were severely attenuated in their ability to generate cutaneous lesions in mice. Reduced expression of SODA also resulted in mitochondrial oxidative damage and failure of <i>SODA</i>/?<i>sodA</i> promastigotes to differentiate into axenic amastigotes. SODA expression above a critical threshold was also required for the development of metacyclic promastigotes, as <i>SODA</i>/?<i>sodA</i> cultures were strongly depleted in this infective form and more susceptible to reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced stress. Collectively, our data suggest that SODA promotes <i>Leishmania</i> virulence by protecting the parasites against mitochondrion-generated oxidative stress and by initiating ROS-mediated signaling mechanisms required for the differentiation of infective forms.
Project description:This study was designed to assess in vitro metacyclogenesis of Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis and Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis clinical field isolates obtained from patient lesions (L. braziliensis IMG3 and PPS6m; L. amazonensis MAB6). Metacyclogenesis was evaluated by different criteria, namely, promastigote size (morphometric analysis and flow cytometry), surface modifications (loss of lectin or monoclonal antibody (mAb) binding, complement resistance), and infectivity to human macrophages. Growth curves were similar for all parasites evaluated. The various features analyzed were expressed in a high percentage of promastigotes at 6th and 10th days of culture and a low percentage at the 2nd day. However, in most isolates, these features, considered as markers of metacyclogenesis, seemed to develop with different time courses, since the percentages of metacyclic forms detected with each technique were usually different. Parasites from 6th or 10th day and those negatively selected with lectin or mAb similarly infected human macrophages. From all isolates analyzed, L. amazonensis PH8 and MAB6 showed the highest and the lowest levels of susceptibility, respectively, to leishmanicidal activity of IFN-?/LPS-activated macrophages. Our results showed that by using different techniques to evaluate different aspects of metacyclogenesis (morphological and biochemical modifications) different percentages of metacyclic promastigotes can be detected in each isolate culture.
Project description:Protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania alternate between flagellated, elongated extracellular promastigotes found in insect vectors, and round-shaped amastigotes enclosed in phagolysosome-like Parasitophorous Vacuoles (PVs) of infected mammalian host cells. Leishmania amazonensis amastigotes occupy large PVs which may contain many parasites; in contrast, single amastigotes of Leishmania major lodge in small, tight PVs, which undergo fission as parasites divide. To determine if PVs of these Leishmania species can fuse with each other, mouse macrophages in culture were infected with non-fluorescent L. amazonensis amastigotes and, 48 h later, superinfected with fluorescent L. major amastigotes or promastigotes. Fusion was investigated by time-lapse image acquisition of living cells and inferred from the colocalization of parasites of the two species in the same PVs. Survival, multiplication and differentiation of parasites that did or did not share the same vacuoles were also investigated. Fusion of PVs containing L. amazonensis and L. major amastigotes was not found. However, PVs containing L. major promastigotes did fuse with pre-established L. amazonensis PVs. In these chimeric vacuoles, L. major promastigotes remained motile and multiplied, but did not differentiate into amastigotes. In contrast, in doubly infected cells, within their own, unfused PVs metacyclic-enriched L. major promastigotes, but not log phase promastigotes--which were destroyed--differentiated into proliferating amastigotes. The results indicate that PVs, presumably customized by L. major amastigotes or promastigotes, differ in their ability to fuse with L. amazonensis PVs. Additionally, a species-specific PV was required for L. major destruction or differentiation--a requirement for which mechanisms remain unknown. The observations reported in this paper should be useful in further studies of the interactions between PVs to different species of Leishmania parasites, and of the mechanisms involved in the recognition and fusion of PVs.
Project description:The obligate intracellular protozoan, Leishmania infantum chagasi (Lic) undergoes receptor-mediated phagocytosis by macrophages followed by a transient delay in phagolysosome maturation. We found differences in the pathway through which virulent Lic metacyclic promastigotes or avirulent logarithmic promastigotes are phagocytosed by human monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs). Both logarithmic and metacyclic promastigotes entered MDMs through a compartment lined by the third complement receptor (CR3). In contrast, many logarithmic promastigotes entered through vacuoles lined by mannose receptors (MR) whereas most metacyclic promastigotes did not (P < 0.005). CR3-positive vacuoles containing metacyclic promastigotes stained for caveolin-1 protein, suggesting CR3 localizes in caveolae during phagocytosis. Following entry, the kinetics of phagolysosomal maturation and intracellular survival also differed. Vacuoles containing metacyclic parasites did not accumulate lysosome-associated membrane protein-1 (LAMP-1) at early times after phagocytosis, whereas vacuoles with logarithmic promastigotes did. MDMs phagocytosed greater numbers of logarithmic than metacyclic promastigotes, yet metacyclics ultimately replicated intracellularly with greater efficiency. These data suggest that virulent metacyclic Leishmania promastigotes fail to ligate macrophage MR, and enter through a path that ultimately enhances intracellular survival. The relatively quiescent entry of virulent Leishmania spp. into macrophages may be accounted for by the ability of metacyclic promastigotes to selectively bypass deleterious entry pathways.
Project description:Leishmania parasites, the causative agent of leishmaniasis, are transmitted through the bite of an infected sand fly. Leishmania parasites present two basic forms known as promastigote and amastigote which, respectively, parasitizes the vector and the mammalian hosts. Infection of the vertebrate host is dependent on the development, in the vector, of metacyclic promastigotes, however, little is known about the factors that trigger metacyclogenesis in Leishmania parasites. It has been generally stated that "stressful conditions" will lead to development of metacyclic forms, and with the exception of a few studies no detailed analysis of the molecular nature of the stress factor has been performed. Here we show that presence/absence of nucleosides, especially adenosine, controls metacyclogenesis both in vitro and in vivo. We found that addition of an adenosine-receptor antagonist to in vitro cultures of Leishmania amazonensis significantly increases metacyclogenesis, an effect that can be reversed by the presence of specific purine nucleosides or nucleobases. Furthermore, our results show that proliferation and metacyclogenesis are independently regulated and that addition of adenosine to culture medium is sufficient to recover proliferative characteristics for purified metacyclic promastigotes. More importantly, we show that metacyclogenesis was inhibited in sand flies infected with Leishmania infantum chagasi that were fed a mixture of sucrose and adenosine. Our results fill a gap in the life cycle of Leishmania parasites by demonstrating how metacyclogenesis, a key point in the propagation of the parasite to the mammalian host, can be controlled by the presence of specific purines.
Project description:We have previously reported a link between a deficient Th1 response to Leishmania amazonensis (La) parasites and profound impairments in the cytokine/chemokine network at early stages of the infection. To define the molecular basis of these deficiencies, we focused on early and intracellular events in La-infected dendritic cells (DCs) in this study. La amastigote-infected DCs were less mature and less potent antigen-presenting cells (APC) than their promastigote-infected counterparts, as judged by the lower expression of CD40 and CD83, suppressed cytokine expression (IL-12p40 and IL-10), reduced effectiveness for priming CD4+ T cells from naïve or infected mice. Infection with La promastigotes, but not amastigotes, triggered transient expression of IL-12p40 by DC. Both forms of parasites markedly suppressed IL-12p40, IL-12p70, and IL-6 production and increased IL-10 production when DCs were treated with LPS, IFN-gamma/LPS or IFN-alpha/LPS as positive stimuli. Of note, pre-infection of DCs with live amastigotes resulted in multiple alterations in innate signaling pathways, including degradation of STAT2, decreased phosphorylation of STAT1, 2, 3 and ERK1/2, and markedly reduced expression of interferon regulatory factor-1 (IRF-1) and IRF-8, some of which were partially reversed by pretreatment of parasites with proteasome or protease inhibitors. The impaired IL-12 production in infected DCs was not attributed to increased IL-10 production. Together, our data suggest that La parasites, especially in their intracellular forms, have evolved unique strategies to actively down-regulate early innate signaling events, resulting in impaired DC function and Th1 activation.
Project description:The A2b receptor (A2bR) belongs to the adenosine receptor family. Emerging evidence suggest that A2bR is implicated in tumor progression in some murine tumor models, but the therapeutic potential of targeting A2bR in melanoma has not been examined. This study first shows that melanoma-bearing mice treated with Bay 60-6583, a selective A2bR agonist, had increased melanoma growth. This effect was associated with higher levels of immune regulatory mediators interleukin-10 (IL-10) and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) and accumulation of tumor-associated CD11b positive Gr1 positive cells (CD11b(+)Gr1(+)) myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). Depletion of CD11b(+)Gr1(+) cells completely reversed the protumor activity of Bay 60-6583. Conversely, pharmacological blockade of A2bR with PSB1115 reversed immune suppression in the tumor microenvironment, leading to a significant melanoma growth delay. PSB1115 treatment reduced both levels of IL-10 and MCP-1 and CD11b(+)Gr1(+) cell number in melanoma lesions. These effects were associated with higher frequency of tumor-infiltrating CD8 positive (CD8(+)) T cells and natural killer T (NKT) cells and increased levels of T helper 1 (Th1)-like cytokines. Adoptive transfer of CD11b(+)Gr1(+) cells abrogated the antitumor activity of PSB1115. These data suggest that the antitumor activity of PSB1115 relies on its ability to lower accumulation of tumor-infiltrating MDSCs and restore an efficient antitumor T cell response. The antitumor effect of PSB1115 was not observed in melanoma-bearing nude mice. Furthermore, PSB1115 enhanced the antitumor efficacy of dacarbazine. These data indicate that A2bR antagonists such as PSB1115 should be investigated as adjuvants in the treatment of melanoma.
Project description: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), an 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.
Project description:In the protozoan pathogen Leishmania, endocytosis, and exocytosis occur mainly in the small area of the flagellar pocket membrane, which makes this parasite an interesting model of strikingly polarized internalization and secretion. Moreover, little is known about vesicle recognition and fusion mechanisms, which are essential for both endo/exocytosis in this parasite. In other cell types, vesicle fusion events require the activity of phospholipase A2 (PLA2), including Ca2+-independent iPLA2 and soluble, Ca2+-dependent sPLA2. Here, we studied the role of bromoenol lactone (BEL) inhibition of endo/exocytosis in promastigotes of Leishmania amazonensis. PLA2 activities were assayed in intact parasites, in whole conditioned media, and in soluble and extracellular vesicles (EVs) conditioned media fractions. BEL did not affect the viability of promastigotes, but reduced the differentiation into metacyclic forms. Intact parasites and EVs had BEL-sensitive iPLA2 activity. BEL treatment reduced total EVs secretion, as evidenced by reduced total protein concentration, as well as its size distribution and vesicles in the flagellar pocket of treated parasites as observed by TEM. Membrane proteins, such as acid phosphatases and GP63, became concentrated in the cytoplasm, mainly in multivesicular tubules of the endocytic pathway. BEL also prevented the endocytosis of BSA, transferrin and ConA, with the accumulation of these markers in the flagellar pocket. These results suggested that the activity inhibited by BEL, which is one of the irreversible inhibitors of iPLA2, is required for both endocytosis and exocytosis in promastigotes of L. amazonensis.