Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 306, Issue 2, pp 163–171 | Cite as

Expression of Foxp3, TGF-β and IL-10 in American cutaneous leishmaniasis lesions

  • F. M. D. Rodrigues
  • G. T. Coelho Neto
  • J. G. P. B. Menezes
  • M. E. A. Gama
  • E. G. Gonçalves
  • A. R. Silva
  • M. D. Laurenti
  • C. E. P. Corbett
  • F. T. Silveira
  • C. M. C. GomesEmail author
Original Paper


Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are a unique population of CD25+CD4+ T cells that regulate innate and adaptive immune responses and have the ability to control the excessive or misdirected effects of the immune system. This modulation involves different mechanisms, such as the suppression of T cell proliferation and cytokine production, the secretion of suppressive cytokines (IL-10 and TGF-β) and the induction of effector T cell apoptosis in humans with infectious diseases such as Leishmania infections. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of Foxp3, IL-10 and TGF-β through immunohistochemistry in 22 skin biopsies of patients with localized cutaneous leishmaniasis (LCL) caused by Leishmania (Viannia) spp. from an endemic area in pre-Amazonian area of Maranhão State, Brazil. The density of these markers was also analyzed according to the species of parasite and the progression of the disease. The cellular density was 234 cells/mm² for Foxp3+ cells, 357 cells/mm² for TGF-β+ cells and 648 cells/mm² for IL-10+ cells in the studied skin lesions. The analysis of the cellular density of these immunological markers in relation to the species of Leishmania demonstrated that lesions caused by L. (V.) braziliensis had a lower density of Foxp3+ cells than lesions caused by L. (Viannia) spp. The expression of IL-10 was also lower in lesions caused by L. (V.) braziliensis. There were no significant differences in TGF-β expression between the two groups. The evaluation of these markers according to the progression of the disease did not reveal any significant differences. These findings suggest that Treg Foxp3+ cells, IL-10, and TGF-β play important roles in the immunopathogenesis of LCL and that these roles differ depending on the causal Leishmania species.


Foxp3 TGF-β IL-10 American cutaneous leishmaniasis Leishmania (Viannia) sp. Immunohistochemistry 



The authors greatly acknowledge Felipe Passero for helpful discussions and Maria Cristina Medeiros and Angela dos Santos for excellent technical assistance. This research was supported by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (Proc.06/56319-1), Laboratório de Patologia de Moléstias Infecciosas (LIM-50/HCFMUSP) and CAPES (Proc.048508).

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest concerning the work reported in this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. M. D. Rodrigues
    • 1
  • G. T. Coelho Neto
    • 2
  • J. G. P. B. Menezes
    • 1
  • M. E. A. Gama
    • 3
  • E. G. Gonçalves
    • 2
  • A. R. Silva
    • 2
  • M. D. Laurenti
    • 1
  • C. E. P. Corbett
    • 1
  • F. T. Silveira
    • 4
    • 5
    • 7
  • C. M. C. Gomes
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Pathology DepartmentMedical School of São Paulo UniversitySão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Pathology DepartmentFederal University of MaranhãoSão LuisBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de Medicina III (Pediatria)Federal University of MaranhãoSão LuisBrazil
  4. 4.Parasitology DepartmentEvandro Chagas Institute (Ministry of Health)AnanindeuaBrazil
  5. 5.Tropical Medicine InstituteFederal University of ParáBelémBrazil
  6. 6.Departamento de PatologiaFaculdade de Medicina Da USPSão PauloBrazil
  7. 7.Tropical Medicine InstitutePará Federal UniversityBelémBrazil

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