Obesity is the main causal factor for metabolic syndrome and chronic systemic inflammation, which impacts on immune function and increases susceptibility to pathogens. Here, we investigated the effect of obesity on the outcome of visceral leishmaniasis caused by Leishmaniasis infantum chagasi. C57BL/6 mice fed with high-sugar and butter diet (HSB) showed a significant increase in body weight, adiposity index and morphological changes in adipocyte. To investigate the consequences of obesity on the specific immunity against Leishmania, both control and HSB diet groups were infected with 107
L. infantum chagasi promastigotes in the eighth-week after diet started and euthanized 4 weeks later. HSB-diet fed mice exhibited a significantly higher parasite burden in both liver and spleen compared with control- diet group. Gonadal adipocyte tissue from HSB-diet mice showed increased TNF-α, IL-6 and leptin and diminished IL-10 production compared with control. Cytokines production analysis in the spleen and liver from these animals also demonstrated higher production of IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-6 and nitric oxide and diminished production of IL-10 and TGF-β, which correlate with inflammatory foci and the cell hyperplasia observed. Taken together, obesity can interfere with responses to pathogen-derived signals and impair the development of protective anti-Leishmania immunity.