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Kupffer cells: Targeting for the effective management of visceral leishmaniasis

Bhatt Akanksha*, Kumar Ganesh and Kothiyal Preeti

4 Mandakini Enclave Kedarpuram, MDDA P.O. Defense colony. Dehradun-248 012, India.




Visceral leishmaniasis is a protozoan disease which infects the macrophages of body and Kupffer cells (KCs) in the liver resident macrophages, which constitute 80% of tissue macrophages of the body. KCs are the first cellular protective line in liver sinusoid, which come into contact with gut-derived pathogenic microbes, microbial debris and senescent erythrocytes and impede the exogenous materials by producing cytokines and directly phagocytosing and degrading them. Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a vector-borne disease and it is widely accredited that the frequency as well as transmission dynamics of VL is closely interrelated to socioeconomic, climatic, and environmental factors. Macrophages act so as to secrete IL-1, TNF and IL-6 at the time of injury and infection, and process and present antigen to help T cells. Mononuclear phagocytic system consists of monocytes circulating in the blood and macrophages in tissue. Macrophages are dispersed throughout the body and take up residence in some tissues. Human leishmanial infections may manifest in any of the four most common forms. Depending on the causative species, it can manifest as cutaneous leishmaniasis mucocutaneous leishmaniasis, visceral leishmaniasis or diffused cutaneous leishmaniasis. The cutaneous form of the disease accounts for more than 50% of new cases of leishmaniasis. The current method of VL diagnosis involves evaluating clinical symptoms that include fever for more than 2 week, the presence of splenomegaly and a positive serological rK39 immunochromatographic rapid diagnostic test (RDT). The rK39 RDT is used to detect the presence of antibodies against the Leishmania antigen K39 that contains a repetitive 39 amino acid sequence from the kinesin protein.

Year 2014 | Volume No. 51 | Issue No.5 | Page No. 5-13
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