Leprosy remains a major public health problem in Brazil due to the high number of new cases and the occurrence of disabilities. For the development of the disease is necessary a close and sustained contact with multibacillary patients. In addition, the genetic background of the individual is very important to determine the susceptibility to M. leprae as well as the progression of leprosy which is influenced by the host immune response. Our group has evaluated candidate genes in the 10p13 region, previously associated with leprosy in linkage studies. A significant association of the polymorphism rs10905284 in the GATA3 gene to leprosy was found, where the carriers of the A allele were protected against the disease. This gene encodes the transcription factor GATA-3 which mediates the differentiation of T cells in the subpopulation Th2, characterized by the production of cytokines IL- 4, IL -5, IL -10 and IL -13, stimulation of the humoral immune response and inhibition of microbicidal mechanisms of macrophages. Aiming to continue our studies on the role of the rs10905284 polymorphism in leprosy, we intend to investigate the expression of GATA -3 in lymphocytes and the production of IL- 2, IL -4, IL -5, IL -10, TNF and IFN-³ in cultures of PBMCs stimulated with bacillary antigens according to genotype for this polymorphism.
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