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Immunomodulatory effects of chitin microparticles on Leishmania major-infected BALB/c mice.
Ghotloo, Somayeh
Hoseini, Mostafa Haji Molla
Alimohammadian, Mohammad Hossein
Khaze, Vahid
Memarnejadian, Arash
Rostami, Ali
Parasitology international 2015 Apr;64: 219-21

Chitin and its some derivatives are known to be non-allergic and non-toxic substances. It has been shown that chitin microparticles have immunomodulatory activities. In the present study, we investigated the in vivo immunomodulatory activities of chitin microparticles (CMPs) on Leishmania major-infected BALB/c mice. BALB/c mice were infected with L. major promastigotes at their base of the tail. CMPs (100μg/100μl) were injected into the site of infection from 3days before to 2 or 8 weeks after infection at two-day intervals. Cytokine concentrations (TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-5 and IL-10) were measured using ELISA assays. Compared to the untreated group, production of TNF-α was significantly elevated in the CMPs-treated group. Moreover, the IFN-γ/IL-5 ratio was significantly elevated in CMPs-treated infected mice (P=0.023). Notably, the concentration of IL-10 was higher in CMPs-treated mice. These results showed that CMPs have in vivo immunomodulatory effects via the production of IFN-γ and IL-10. We also measured the onset and size of lesions in both treated and untreated mice. The average times taken for the onset of the lesion formation were 35 and 29days for CMPs-treated and untreated mice (P=0.023), respectively. The mean size of the lesions was smaller in CMPs-treated group. Our study serves as a basis for future investigations on the application of CMPs as a prophylactic (vaccine adjuvant) and/or therapeutic modality against leishmaniasis.

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