The Leishmaniases are a group of parasitic diseases caused by protozoa of the Leishmania genus affecting both humans and other vertebrates. Leishmania is an intracellular pathogen able to confer resistance to apoptosis in the early phase of macrophages infection by activation of host PI3K/Akt pathway and inhibition of caspase-3 activation. Intracellular pathogens hijack organelles such as ER to facilitate survival and replication, thus eliciting ER stress and activating/modulating the unfolded protein response (UPR) in the host cell. The UPR is aimed to mitigate ER stress, thereby promoting cell survival. However, prolonged ER stress will activate the apoptotic pathway. The aim of this study was to investigate the ER stress response in Leishmania-infected macrophages to gain insights about the mechanisms underlying the apoptosis resistance in parasitized cells. Macrophages differentiated from human monocytic cell lines (U937 and THP-1) and murine primary macrophages were infected with Leishmania infantum MHOM/TN/80/IPT1 (WHO international reference strain). Several ER stress/autophagy expression markers, as well as cell survival/apoptosis markers (phospho-Akt and cleaved caspase-3) were evaluated by qPCR and/or by western blotting. As ER stress positive control, cells were treated with tunicamycin or dithiothreitol (DTT). The gene expression analyses showed a mild but significant induction of the ER stress/autophagy markers. The western blot analyses revealed that the Leishmania infection induced Akt phosphorylation and significantly inhibited the induction of caspase-3 cleavage, eIF2α phosphorylation and DDIT3/CHOP expression in tunicamycin and DTT treated cells. The mild but significant increase in ER stress expression markers and the delay/attenuation of the effects of ER stress inducers in infected cells support the hypothesis that L. infantum could promote survival of host cells by inducing a mild ER stress response. The host ER stress response could be not only a common pathogenic mechanism among Leishmania species but also a target for development of new drugs.

Leishmania infantum Induces Mild Unfolded Protein Response in Infected Macrophages

GALLUZZI, LUCA
;
DIOTALLEVI, AURORA;DE SANTI, MAURO;CECCARELLI, MARCELLO;BRANDI, GIORGIO;MAGNANI, MAURO
2016-01-01

Abstract

The Leishmaniases are a group of parasitic diseases caused by protozoa of the Leishmania genus affecting both humans and other vertebrates. Leishmania is an intracellular pathogen able to confer resistance to apoptosis in the early phase of macrophages infection by activation of host PI3K/Akt pathway and inhibition of caspase-3 activation. Intracellular pathogens hijack organelles such as ER to facilitate survival and replication, thus eliciting ER stress and activating/modulating the unfolded protein response (UPR) in the host cell. The UPR is aimed to mitigate ER stress, thereby promoting cell survival. However, prolonged ER stress will activate the apoptotic pathway. The aim of this study was to investigate the ER stress response in Leishmania-infected macrophages to gain insights about the mechanisms underlying the apoptosis resistance in parasitized cells. Macrophages differentiated from human monocytic cell lines (U937 and THP-1) and murine primary macrophages were infected with Leishmania infantum MHOM/TN/80/IPT1 (WHO international reference strain). Several ER stress/autophagy expression markers, as well as cell survival/apoptosis markers (phospho-Akt and cleaved caspase-3) were evaluated by qPCR and/or by western blotting. As ER stress positive control, cells were treated with tunicamycin or dithiothreitol (DTT). The gene expression analyses showed a mild but significant induction of the ER stress/autophagy markers. The western blot analyses revealed that the Leishmania infection induced Akt phosphorylation and significantly inhibited the induction of caspase-3 cleavage, eIF2α phosphorylation and DDIT3/CHOP expression in tunicamycin and DTT treated cells. The mild but significant increase in ER stress expression markers and the delay/attenuation of the effects of ER stress inducers in infected cells support the hypothesis that L. infantum could promote survival of host cells by inducing a mild ER stress response. The host ER stress response could be not only a common pathogenic mechanism among Leishmania species but also a target for development of new drugs.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2641750
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