Differential expression of miRNAs in canine peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) exposed to Leishmania infantum in vitro
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Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) is a neglected tropical disease, caused by L. infantum in the New World, where dogs are the main reservoir. These parasites can regulate host immune response through miRNA differential expression in the early stages of infection; however such early response has not yet been investigated in the canine model. PBMC from healthy dogs were exposed to L. infantum in vitro and microarray analysis showed an upregulation of miR-206, miR-302d, miR-433, miR-214, miR-493, miR-514, miR-1835, miR-210, miR-539, miR-432, miR-188, miR-345 and downregulation of miR-489 and miR-503 in comparison to non-exposed control cells, at 24 h post-exposure. In silico target prediction showed that the upregulated miRNAs target 1541 genes, which can modulate important pathways involved in the early immune responses, like the “MAPK signaling pathway”, one of the most relevant pathways to Leishmania survival inside host cells. These findings shed light on parasite modulation of host immunity following Leishmania infection, which in turn can be explored for drug development.
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