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    Rights statement: © 2013 Söbirk et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Human Chemokines as Antimicrobial Peptides with Direct Parasiticidal Effect on Leishmania mexicana In Vitro

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  • Sara K Söbirk
  • Matthias Mörgelin
  • Arne Egesten
  • Paul Bates
  • Oonagh Shannon
  • Mattias Collin
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Article numbere58129
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>22/03/2013
<mark>Journal</mark>PLoS ONE
Issue number3
Volume8
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Chemokines and chemokine receptor-mediated effects are important mediators of the immunological response and cure in human leishmaniasis. However, in addition to their signalling properties for leukocytes, many chemokines have also been shown to act directly as antimicrobial peptides on bacteria and fungi. We screened ten human chemokines (CXCL2, CXCL6, CXCL8, CXCL9, CXCL10, CCL2, CCL3, CCL20, CCL27, CCL28) for antimicrobial effects on the promastigote form of the protozoan parasite Leishmania mexicana, and observed direct parasiticidal effects of several, CCL28 being the most potent. Damage to the plasma membrane integrity could be visualised by entrance of propidium iodide, as measured with flow cytometry, and by scanning electron microscopy, which showed morphological changes and aggregation of cells. The findings were in concordance with parasiticidal activity, measured by decreased mitochondrial activity in an MTT-assay. This is the first report of direct antimicrobial activity by chemokines on parasites. This component of immunity against Leishmania parasites identified here warrants further investigation that might lead to new insight in the mechanisms of human infection and/or new therapeutic approaches.

Bibliographic note

© 2013 Söbirk et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.