Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Vitamin D and the Tropical Disease Leishmaniasis – New Findings on the Immune Defence of the Parasite

25.11.2019

In an International research team, researchers of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have gained new findings on immune processes that take place in the skin infection with the leishmania parasite. Vitamin D and cathelicidin, a protein which forms part of the human body, play an important part during the immune defence directed against the parasite. Frontiers Immunology reports on the research results in its online edition of 22.11.2019.

Leishmania are single-cell parasites transmitted by sandflies. They cause leishmaniasis, an infection that occurs above all in tropical areas, the Mediterranean, and Asia. However, sandflies are moving further and further north and, in the meantime, have also been found in Germany.


Leishmania infected human macrophage

Source: Paul-Ehrlich-Institut

The type and degree of severity of leishmaniosis depends on the type of the parasite and the individual health status of the person affected. The infection can cause skin lesions, which, in healthy persons, normally heal.

The underlying mechanism of the human immune response contributing to this spontaneous healing process are so far not understood. Its elucidation will enable developing new treatments against this neglected disease.

So far, little is known about which processes take place during the defence of parasites by human macrophages. A group of researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (PEI), Federal institute for Vaccines and Biomedicines, led by Prof. Dr. Ger van Zandbergen, head of Division Immunology, and Dr Peter Crauwels, in co-operation with researchers from Germany, Sweden, and Ethiopia have examined infected skin areas from Ethiopian patients.

In doing so, they found a variant of the human CAMP gene (increased mRNA expression). The CAMP gene encodes the so-called cathelicidin (LL37). Being a key molecule in immune defence, cathelicidin possesses antimicrobial properties effective against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and also parasites. Vitamin D indirectly stimulates the production of cathelicidin.

As the PEI research group found out, recombinant cathelicidin was able to induce cell death in leishmania, depending on its dose. The researchers were able to provide evidence that pro-inflammatory macrophages (hMDM1) formed cathelicidin to a greater extent through mechanisms of transcription and translation that occurred at the gene and protein level than did anti-inflammatory macrophages (hMDC22).

This increased cathelicidin production was caused by vitamin D by activation of the CAMP signal pathway, thus limiting the leihmania infection. On the other hand, more leishmania survived when cathelicidin was disabled in the hMDM1 macrophages.

The results of the studies on affected skin areas of infected patients and the in vitro findings described with human immune cells show that vitamin D mediated cathelicidin plays a significant role in the congenital immune response against the leishmanial parasite.

Vitamin D is formed in the skin during exposure to sun light, i.e. exposure of the skin areas affected to sun light may have a favourable effect on the healing process. This would have to be verified in further studies.

Originalpublikation:

Crauwels P, Bank E, Walbers B, Wenzel UA, Agerberth B, Negatue MC, Alemayehu MA, König R, Ritter U, Reiling N, van Zandbergen G (2019): Cathelicidin mediated elimination of Leishmania in human host macrophages.
Front Immunol Nov 22 [Epub ahead of print].
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.02697

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2019.02697/full?&utm_sour... - Publication (Fulltext)


https://www.pei.de/EN/newsroom/press-releases/year/2019/23-vitamin-d-and-leishma... - This press release on the Website of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut

Dr. Susanne Stöcker | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
https://www.pei.de/EN/newsroom/press-releases/year/2019/23-vitamin-d-and-leishmaniasis-new-findings-immune-defence.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht When plants bloom
29.11.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie

nachricht Harnessing the power of CRISPR in space and time
29.11.2019 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How do scars form? Fascia function as a repository of mobile scar tissue

Abnormal scarring is a serious threat resulting in non-healing chronic wounds or fibrosis. Scars form when fibroblasts, a type of cell of connective tissue, reach wounded skin and deposit plugs of extracellular matrix. Until today, the question about the exact anatomical origin of these fibroblasts has not been answered. In order to find potential ways of influencing the scarring process, the team of Dr. Yuval Rinkevich, Group Leader for Regenerative Biology at the Institute of Lung Biology and Disease at Helmholtz Zentrum München, aimed to finally find an answer. As it was already known that all scars derive from a fibroblast lineage expressing the Engrailed-1 gene - a lineage not only present in skin, but also in fascia - the researchers intentionally tried to understand whether or not fascia might be the origin of fibroblasts.

Fibroblasts kit - ready to heal wounds

Im Focus: McMaster researcher warns plastic pollution in Great Lakes growing concern to ecosystem

Research from a leading international expert on the health of the Great Lakes suggests that the growing intensity and scale of pollution from plastics poses serious risks to human health and will continue to have profound consequences on the ecosystem.

In an article published this month in the Journal of Waste Resources and Recycling, Gail Krantzberg, a professor in the Booth School of Engineering Practice...

Im Focus: Machine learning microscope adapts lighting to improve diagnosis

Prototype microscope teaches itself the best illumination settings for diagnosing malaria

Engineers at Duke University have developed a microscope that adapts its lighting angles, colors and patterns while teaching itself the optimal...

Im Focus: Small particles, big effects: How graphene nanoparticles improve the resolution of microscopes

Conventional light microscopes cannot distinguish structures when they are separated by a distance smaller than, roughly, the wavelength of light. Superresolution microscopy, developed since the 1980s, lifts this limitation, using fluorescent moieties. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research have now discovered that graphene nano-molecules can be used to improve this microscopy technique. These graphene nano-molecules offer a number of substantial advantages over the materials previously used, making superresolution microscopy even more versatile.

Microscopy is an important investigation method, in physics, biology, medicine, and many other sciences. However, it has one disadvantage: its resolution is...

Im Focus: Atoms don't like jumping rope

Nanooptical traps are a promising building block for quantum technologies. Austrian and German scientists have now removed an important obstacle to their practical use. They were able to show that a special form of mechanical vibration heats trapped particles in a very short time and knocks them out of the trap.

By controlling individual atoms, quantum properties can be investigated and made usable for technological applications. For about ten years, physicists have...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

High entropy alloys for hot turbines and tireless metal-forming presses

05.11.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

When plants bloom

29.11.2019 | Life Sciences

Harnessing the power of CRISPR in space and time

29.11.2019 | Life Sciences

New evolutionary insights into the early development of songbirds

29.11.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>