Induction of haem oxygenase-1 increases infection of dog macrophages by L. infantum
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We aimed to induce and inhibit HO-1, ascertaining its effect on infection rate, parasite load and the levels of superoxide, reactive oxygen species (ROS), nitric oxide (NO), TNF-alpha and IL-10 in cultured macrophages from healthy dogs infected by Leishmania infantum. Macrophages obtained from 15 healthy dogs were cultured alone or infected with L. infantum, with or without association of HO-1 inducer and inhibitor. The infection rate and the parasite load were determined by the number of infected macrophages and number of promastigotes per macrophage, respectively. HO-1 levels and gene expression, as well as IL-10 and TNF-alpha levels were also measured in these cultures. Superoxide, ROS and NO levels in macrophages were measured through flow cytometry. Induction of HO-1 increased the infection rate and parasite load, while its inhibition decreased the infection rate and IL-10 production. There was a positive correlation between HO-1 and infection rate or parasite load. Increased infection rate was associated with decreased superoxide, ROS and NO levels. Induction of HO-1 metabolism in dogs infected by L. infantum is possibly one of the mechanisms responsible for increasing the infection of macrophages, mainly through reduction in the oxidative and nitrosative metabolisms of these cells.
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