Naloxone Diminishes the Virulence and Modifies the Cellular Immune Responses of BALB/c Mice Infected with Leishmania major

Abstract

Purpose

Leishmania major-infected BALB/c mice display strong susceptibility to the infection due to the induction of Th2 response. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of naloxone on virulence of L. major in BALB/c mice and the ensued cellular immune response.

Methods

The effects of injection of a single dose of naloxone in the footpad of L. major-infected BALB/c mice were investigated by evaluating the lesion sizes, the parasite burden, cell proliferation, secreted cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-10 and IL-12) and their genes expressions due to naloxone treatment while the untreated mice were used as a control.

Results

Significantly lower lesion sizes and less parasite burden were measured in the treated mice. Significantly decreased productions of IFN-γ, IL-12, IL-4, and IL-10 were also observed in the treated mice at week 4 post-infection while the production IL-10 remained significantly hindered till 8 weeks post-infection.

Conclusion

Our data indicated that although the treatment of L. major-infected BALB/c mice with a single dose of naloxone was unable to improve the cellular immune response, it led to lower virulence, confirmed by significantly reduced lesions and parasite load.

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Acknowledgments

This project was funded by research Grant # IPI-384 of Pasteur Institute of Iran.

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Correspondence to Mohammad Hossein Alimohammadian.

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On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

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Alimohammadian, M.H., Riazi-Rad, F., Asadi-Tat, M. et al. Naloxone Diminishes the Virulence and Modifies the Cellular Immune Responses of BALB/c Mice Infected with Leishmania major. Acta Parasit. (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11686-020-00308-w

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Keywords

  • Naloxone
  • Leishmania major
  • Cutaneous leishmaniasis
  • BALB/c mice