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Evaluation of the stimulatory capability of monocyte derived-dendritic cells from leprosy patients


Leprosy immunology still has many unsolved points. Although Th1 and Th2 profiles are present, respectively, in tuberculoid and lepromatous poles of disease, the factors involved in the polarization of the immune response are not known. In addition, the role of immune profiles more recently described as Treg, Th9, Th17 and Th22 are not established. Dendritic cells (DCs) are responsible by the recognition of antigens, processing and presentation to CD4 + T lymphocytes and drive the immune response through the production of cytokines and the expression of costimulatory molecules, presenting a key role to the determination of leprosy susceptibility and its clinical manifestations. Previous results from our research group (FAPESP # 2009 / 01436-1) showed lower production of IL-12p70 by monocyte-derived DCs from lepromatous patients after stimulation with M. leprae antigens, suggesting a defect in the activation of Th1 immune response in these individuals. Continuing this study, we intend to evaluate the maturation of mo-DCs from leprosy patients stimulated with viable M. leprae as well as their ability to activate T cells. Monocytes from tuberculoid and lepromatous leprosy patients will be differentiated in DCs in vitro and infected with M. leprae. The expression of maturation markers on the DCs as well as T cell proliferation and the production of cytokines related to Th1, Th2, Th17, Th9, Th22 and Treg profiles will be evaluated. We believe that the results of this study will contribute to understanding of leprosy susceptibility and eventually could contribute to the development of methods to identify individuals susceptible to disease as well as prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines. (AU)

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