Treatment of two patients with diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania mexicana modifies the immunohistological profile but not the disease outcome
Two patients with diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania mexicana were treated with two leishmanicidal drugs (pentamidine and allopurinol) combined with recombinant interferon-γ restoring Th-1 favouring conditions in the patients. Parasites decreased dramatically in the lesions and macrophages diminished concomitantly, while IL-12-producing Langerhans cells and interferon-γ– producing NK and CD8 + lymphocytes increased in a reciprocal manner. The CD4+/CD8 + ratio in the peripheral blood normalized. During exogenous administration of interferon-γ the parasites' capacity to inhibit the oxidative burst of the patients' monocytes was abolished. Even though Th-1-favouring conditions were restored, both patients relapsed two months after therapy was discontinued. We conclude that the tendency to develop a disease-promoting Th-2 response in DCL patients is unaffected by, and independent of, parasite numbers. Even though intensive treatment in DCL patients induced Th-1 disease restricting conditions, the disease-promoting immunomodulation of few persistent Leishmania sufficed to revert the immune response.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Medicina Experimental, Facultad de Medicina, UNAM, Mexico 2: Instituto Nacional de Cancerología, Secretaría de Salud, Mexico 3: Zentrum für Infektionsforschung, Universität Würzburg, Germany 4: Klinik für Hautkrankheiten, Universität Würzburg, Germany 5: Departamento de Biología Tisular y Celular, UNAM, Mexico 6: Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Fisiología Celular, UNAM, Mexico
Publication date: December 1, 1999