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Cell Immunol 2016 Nov;309:37-41

Role of pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-17 in Leishmania pathogenesis and in protective immunity by Leishmania vaccines.

Banerjee A, Bhattacharya P, Joshi AB, Ismail N, Dey R, Nakhasi HL


The clinical outcome of Leishmania pathogenesis ranges from active skin lesions to fatal visceral dissemination and severely impaired T cell immunity. It is well established that a strong Th1 immune response is protective against cutaneous forms of the disease, however a mixed Th1/Th2 response is most commonly observed against visceral infections as evident from previous studies. Aside from Th1/Th2 cytokines, the pro-inflammatory IL-17 cytokine family plays an important role in the clearance of intracellular pathogens. In Leishmania induced skin lesions, IL-17 produced by Th17 cells is shown to exacerbate the disease, suggesting a role in pathogenesis. However, a protective role for IL-17 is indicated by the expansion of IL-17 producing cells in vaccine-induced immunity. In human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) it has been demonstrated that IL-17 and IL-22 are associated with protection against re-exposure to Leishmania, which further suggests the involvement of IL-17 in vaccine induced protective immunity. Although there is no vaccine against any form of leishmaniasis, the development of genetically modified live attenuated parasites as vaccine candidates prove to be promising, as they successfully induce a robust protective immune response in various animal models. However, the role of IL-17 producing cells and Th17 cells in response to these vaccine candidates remains unexplored. In this article, we review the role of IL-17 in Leishmania pathogenesis and the potential impact on vaccine induced immunity, with a special focus on live attenuated Leishmania parasites.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #27444130 DOI: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2016.07.004
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2016-05-20 Entry Last Modified: 2017-01-02