Cytokine gene expression alterations in human macrophages infected by leishmania major

Khodaberdi Kalavi, Seyed Javad Mowla, Mohammad Ali Faghihi, Mohammad Ali Faghihi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Leishmaniasis is caused by members of the Leishmania species and constitute a group of infective diseases that range from cutaneous lesions to lethal visceral forms. In infected persons, macrophages recognize and eliminate the parasites via phagocytosis. In order to change a hostile environment into an environment adequate for survival and reproduction, the engulfed Leishmania species needs to modulate the function of its host macrophage. The expression patterns of cytokine genes such as interleukin-12 (IL-12), tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), IL-1, and interferon-gamma (IFNγ) represent the immune response. In this study, we employed an RNA-seq approach for human monocyte-derived macrophages infected with Leishmania major (L. major) to decipher cytokine gene expression alterations in host macrophages. Materials and Methods: In this descriptive study, human monocytes were isolated by magnetic activated cell sorting (MACS) and cultured in the presence of monocyte colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) to obtain the macrophages. Monocyte-derived macrophages were then co-cultured with metacyclic promastigotes of L. major for 4 hours. RNA isolation was performed using TRIzol reagent. RNA sequencing was performed using the Illumina sequencing platforms. Gene expression analysis was performed using a Bioconductor DESeq2 package. Results: Our data revealed significant changes in immune response gene expressions in macrophages infected with L. major, with an up-regulation of cytokines and mostly down-regulation of their receptors. Conclusion: The obtained data could shed more light on the biology of L. major and how the host cell responds to leishmaniasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-481
Number of pages6
JournalCell Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Leishmania major
  • Macrophages
  • RNA Sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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