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The role of dermal macrophages in the initial immune response against Leishmania infection

Grant number: 17/09746-6
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 16, 2017
Effective date (End): October 15, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Immunology - Cellular Immunology
Principal Investigator:João Santana da Silva
Grantee:Gabriela Pessenda
Supervisor abroad: David Sacks
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : National Institutes of Health, Bethesda (NIH), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:15/25289-9 - Identification and validation of essential genes responsible for the immune response induction in patients with visceral leishmaniasis, BP.DR


Leishmaniasis is a disease transmitted by sand fly bites into host's skin, therefore the immune response against the parasite is initiated early in the skin, even in visceral cases. Murine models have shown that immune responses against Leishmania are very diverse, and may depend on the parasite species, strains and/or mice background. This is especially true for the roles played by inflamasomes and IL-1b during infection. Activation of inflammasomes with consequent production of IL-1b has been shown to be beneficial or detrimental to the progress of the disease. Since, further studies are needed. Given that Leishmania parasites differentiate and replicate inside macrophages, our aim is to understand the response of dermal macrophages employing models of cutaneous and visceral forms of the disease and focusing on IL-1b production and its role during infection progression. Transcriptional profiling of dermal macrophages from infected wild-type and knockout animals will be employed to achieve this purpose.