The role of complement in the early phase of Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis infection in BALB/c mice


Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research




Complement-depleted and -non-depleted BALB/c mice were inoculated with Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis promastigotes into the hind footpad to study the role of the complement system in cutaneous leishmaniasis. Total serum complement activity was measured by hemolytic assay and C3 fragment deposit at the inoculation site was determined by direct immunofluorescence in the early period of infection, i.e., at 3, 24, 48 h and 7 days post-infection. The inflammatory reaction and the parasite burden were evaluated in the skin lesion at 7 and 30 days post-infection. Total serum complement activity decreased in the early phase of infection, from 3 to 24 h, in non-depleted mice compared to non-infected and non-depleted mice. C3 fragment deposit at the site of parasite inoculation was present throughout the period of infection in non-depleted mice. In contrast, no C3 fragment deposit was observed at the inoculation site in complement-depleted mice. Complement-depleted mice showed a significant decrease in the inflammatory response and a significant increase in the number of parasites (70.0 ± 5.3 vs 5.3 ± 1.5) at 7 days of infection (P < 0.05). A higher number of parasites were also present at 30 days of infection at the inoculation site of complement-depleted mice (78.5 ± 24.9 vs 6.3 ± 5.7). These experiments indicate that complement has an important role at the beginning of experimental cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by L. (L.) amazonensis by controlling the number of parasites in the lesion.

Documentos Relacionados