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Leishmania amazonensis promastigotes evade complement killing by interfering with the late steps of the cascade

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 December 1997

A. C. NUNES
Affiliation:
Departamento de Bioquímica-Imunologia, ICB, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, C.P. 486, 30161-970 Belo Horizonte, Brazil
F. R. ALMEIDA-CAMPOS
Affiliation:
Departamento de Bioquímica-Imunologia, ICB, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, C.P. 486, 30161-970 Belo Horizonte, Brazil
M. F. HORTA
Affiliation:
Departamento de Bioquímica-Imunologia, ICB, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, C.P. 486, 30161-970 Belo Horizonte, Brazil
F. J. RAMALHO-PINTO
Affiliation:
Departamento de Parasitologia, Microbiologia e Imunologia, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, 14040-900 Ribeirão Preto, Brazil

Abstract

During their growth in vitro, promastigotes of Leishmania amazonensis undergo differentiation from complement-susceptible to complement-resistant forms. Here, we demonstrate that both forms bind comparable amounts of C3 on their surfaces, with the predominant molecule species being the haemolytically active C3b. Likewise, equivalent amounts of C9 are deposited on both forms of promastigotes. However, while C9-bearing complexes are exposed on the cell surface of resistant promastigotes, they are cryptic in the susceptible stage of the parasites. The membrane fraction of complement-resistant promastigote lysates has the ability to inhibit complement-mediated haemolysis, blocking C9, but not C3 deposition to complement-activating complexes. Moreover, the membrane fraction of complement-resistant promastigote lysates can inhibit the late steps of guinea-pig erythrocyte lysis much more efficiently than complement-susceptible ones. Our results indicate that L. amazonensis promastigotes evade complement killing by inhibiting the cytolytic pathway of the complement cascade.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
1997 Cambridge University Press

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