Thymus is a primary lymphoid organ responsible for the maturation of T lymphocytes that are important effector cells of adaptive immunity. Antigen presenting cells connect innate to adaptive immunity and this interaction will determine the pattern of immune response to infection by Leishmania infantum resulting in symptomatic disease when a response pattern is Th2 and a protective response with asymptomatic diseases when the pattern is Th1. Other types of responses such as Th17 and Treg are also activated during the disease. However, the fact that the thymus is an important lymphoid organ in the development of T cells, an important part of the adaptive immune system, which is responsible for assembling the immune responses of types Th1, Th2 and Th17 involved in resistance and susceptibility to leishmaniasis, the study of cytokines in the thymus and its correlation with morphological and parasitological parameters in the course of the infection becomes important. Therefore, the present study aims to investigate the gene expression of pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines in the thymus of hamsters experimentally infected with Leishmania infantum. The spectrum of cytokines produced in the thymus is practically the same as that produced in the peripheral immune system, but these substances perform different functions in these two locations. We hypothesize that the increase in TCD3 + immature cells in the spinal cord after 15 days of infection observed in a previous project (work in writing) may be related to functional changes controlled by cytokines.
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