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Review Article

Role of Chemokines in the Pathogenesis of Visceral Leishmaniasis

[ Vol. 29 , Issue. 33 ]


Ramesh Kumar*, Madhav Bhatia and Kalpana Pai   Pages 5441 - 5461 ( 21 )


Visceral leishmaniasis (VL; also known as kala-azar), caused by the protozoan parasite Leishmania donovani, is characterized by the inability of the host to generate an effective immune response. The manifestations of the disease depend on the involvement of various immune components such as activation of macrophages, cell mediated immunity, secretion of cytokines and chemokines, etc. Macrophages are the final host cells for Leishmania parasites to multiply, and they are the key to a controlled or aggravated response that leads to clinical symptoms. The two most common macrophage phenotypes are M1 and M2. The pro-inflammatory microenvironment (mainly by IL-1β, IL-6, IL-12, IL-23, and TNF-α cytokines) and tissue injury driven by classically activated macrophages (M1-like) and wound healing driven by alternatively activated macrophages (M2-like) in an anti-inflammatory environment (mainly by IL-10, TGF-β, chemokine ligand (CCL)1, CCL2, CCL17, CCL18, and CCL22). Moreover, on polarized Th cells, chemokine receptors are expressed differently. Typically, CXCR3 and CCR5 are preferentially expressed on polarized Th1 cells, whereas CCR3, CCR4, and CCR8 have been associated with the Th2 phenotype. Further, the ability of the host to produce a cell-mediated immune response capable of regulating and/or eliminating the parasite is critical in the fight against the disease. Here, we review the interactions between parasites and chemokines and chemokine receptors in the pathogenesis of VL.


Visceral leishmaniasis, chemokines, Th1 & Th2 cells, CC, CXC, C, CX3C chemokines.


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