Open Access Open Badges Research article

Leishmania amazonensis infection impairs dendritic cell migration from the inflammatory site to the draining lymph node

Micely DR Hermida1, Priscila G Doria1, Angela MP Taguchi1, José O Mengel23 and Washington LC dos-Santos1*

Author Affiliations

1 Centro de Pesquisas Gonçalo Moniz, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Fiocruz, LPBI, Salvador, Brazil

2 Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

3 Faculty of Medicine of Petrópolis, FMP-FASE, Petrópolis, Brazil

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14:450  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-450

Published: 20 August 2014



In vitro studies show that Leishmania infection decreases the adhesion of inflammatory phagocytes to connective tissue by a mechanism dependent on the modulation of integrin function. However, we know little about the influence of this reduction in leukocyte adhesion on parasite dissemination from the infection site.


In this work, we used a model of chronic peritonitis induced by thioglycollate to study the effect of L. amazonensis infection on the ability of inflammatory phagocyte populations to migrate from an inflammatory site to the draining lymph node. Uninfected or Leishmania-infected thioglycollate-elicited peritoneal exudate cells were transferred from C57BL/6 to BALB/c mice or from Ly5.1+ to Ly5.1- mice. The transferred cells were injected into the peritoneal cavity and tracked to the draining lymph node.


Migrating cells corresponded to approximately 1% of the injected leukocytes. The proportion of migrating CD11b+CD11c+ (myeloid dendritic cell) was lower after incubation with Leishmania (1.3 to 2.6 times lower in the experiments using C57BL/6 to BALB/c animals and 2.7 to 3.4 times lower in the experiments using Ly5.1+ to Ly5.1- animals) than after leukocyte incubation with medium alone (P < 0.01). There was no consistent decrease in the migration of CD11b+F4/80+ (macrophage) or SSChi GR-1+ (neutrophil) populations.


Coincubation with Leishmania changes the migratory pattern of dendritic cells in vivo. Such changes in dendritic cell migration may be associated with immunological events that maintain inflammation at the sites of infection.

Leishmania; Leukocyte migration; Dendritic cell; Lymph node; Macrophage