Dendritic cells in Leishmania major infections: mechanisms of parasite uptake, cell activation and evidence for physiological relevance
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- Kautz-Neu, K., Schwonberg, K., Fischer, M.R. et al. Med Microbiol Immunol (2012) 201: 581. doi:10.1007/s00430-012-0261-2
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Leishmaniasis is one of the most important infectious diseases worldwide; a vaccine is still not available. Infected dendritic cells (DC) are critical for the initiation of protective Th1 immunity against Leishmaniamajor. Phagocytosis of L. major by DC leads to cell activation, IL-12 release and (cross-) presentation of Leishmania antigens by DC. Here, we review the role of Fcγ receptor- and B cell-mediated processes for parasite internalization by DC. In addition, the early events after parasite inoculation that consist of mast cell activation, parasite uptake by skin-resident macrophages (MΦ), followed by neutrophil and monocyte immigration and DC activation are described. All these events contribute significantly to antigen processing in infected DC and influence resulting T cell priming in vivo. A detailed understanding of the role of DC for the development of efficient anti-Leishmania immunity will aid the development of potent anti-parasite drugs and/or vaccines.