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Effectiveness of the immunomodulatory extract of Kalanchoe pinnata against murine visceral leishmaniasis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 December 2009

D. C. O. GOMES
Affiliation:
Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
M. F. MUZITANO
Affiliation:
Centro de Biociências e Biotecnologia, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense, Brazil
S. S. COSTA
Affiliation:
Núcleo de Pesquisas de Produtos Naturais, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
B. ROSSI-BERGMANN
Affiliation:
Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Summary

Previously, we described the protective action of the immunomodulatory extract of Kalanchoe pinnata (Kp) in murine and human cutaneous leishmaniasis. In the present study, we investigated the effectiveness of Kp against visceral leishmaniasis, using the BALB/c mouse model of infection with Leishmania chagasi. Mice receiving oral daily doses of Kp (400 mg/kg) for 30 days displayed significantly reduced hepatic and splenic parasite burden, when compared with untreated animals. Protectiveness was accompanied by a reduction in parasite-specific IgG serum levels, and impaired capacity of spleen cells to produce IL-4, but not IFN-γ and nitric oxide upon antigen recall in vitro. The reference drug Pentostam (72 mg/kg) given by the intra-peritoneal route on alternate days produced an anti-leishmanial effect similar to oral Kp. Our findings show that the oral efficacy of Kp, seen previously in murine cutaneous leishmaniasis, extends also to visceral leishmaniasis caused by L. chagasi, a difficult to treat and lethal disease of man.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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