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Evaluation of macrophages polarization of in cocultures with Schwann cells infected by Mycobacterium leprae

Grant number: 16/16073-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2016
Effective date (End): October 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Immunology - Cellular Immunology
Principal researcher:Vânia Nieto Brito de Souza
Grantee:Bruna Beatriz de Oliveira Gimenez
Home Institution: Instituto Lauro de Souza Lima (ILSL). Coordenadoria de Controle de Doenças (CCD). Secretaria da Saúde (São Paulo - Estado). Bauru , SP, Brazil


The infection by Mycobacterium leprae stimulates a process of dedifferentiation and proliferation of Schwann cells (SC) which may contribute to the spread of the bacillus. SC infected with the bacillus produce mediators capable of interfering with macrophage function increasing their survival and promoting their migration. Macrophages are effector cells of the immune response that promote the elimination of pathogens, however, in leprosy they are colonized by M. leprae. Macrophages may present a functional polarization in which M1 exhibits pro-inflammatory and microbicide profile while M2 acts on tissue repair and presents anti-inflammatory activity. Although different functional programs had been observed in macrophages from patients with polar forms of leprosy the influence of SC in this process is not known. In this study we aim to evaluate whether SC infected with M. leprae can interfere with the macrophages' polarization. Therefore, primary cultures of murine SC will be experimentally infected with viable M. leprae and then co-cultured with macrophages. Macrophages will be evaluated for the expression of specific markers of M1 and M2 subpopulations and for the production of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Besides, the expression of M1 and M2 markers will be evaluated in inflammatory infiltrates present in sciatic and plantar nerves from mice inoculated with M. leprae. (AU)

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