Glycoconjugates isolated from Trypanosoma cruzi but not from Leishmania species membranes trigger nitric oxide synthesis as well as microbicidal activity in IFN-gamma-primed macrophages

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Camargo, M. M.
Andrade, A. C.
Almeida, I. C.
Travassos, Luiz Rodolpho [UNIFESP]
Gazzinelli, R. T.
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In the present study, we investigated the role of glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored mucin-like glycoproteins (GPI-mucins) from Trypanosoma cruzi trypomastigotes in triggering the synthesis of nitric oxide as well as the microbicidal activity in murine macrophages. Our results show that CPI-mucins isolated from trypomastigote membranes are potent inducers of nitric oxide synthesis by IFN-gamma-primed macrophages, even at concentrations as low as 10 ng/ml. Our data also indicate the important role of glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchors from GPI-mucins as the second signal responsible for induction of nitric oxide synthesis by macrophages. To further investigate the role of these parasite molecules in inducing parasiticidal function, we cultured macrophages in the presence or absence of trypomastigote GPI-mucins and/or IFN-gamma and then infected these cells with either Leishmania spp. or T. cruzi. IFN-gamma was sufficient to induce microbial activity in macrophages infected with T. cruzi trypomastigotes. In contrast, killing of different species of Leishmania was further enhanced when macrophages exposed to IFN-gamma were also costimulated with trypomastigote-derived CPI-mucins. Our results also indicate that different glycolipids obtained from Leishmania major or Leishmania donovani (i.e., lipophosphoglycans or glycoinositolphospholipids) were unable to potentiate nitric oxide synthesis and/or microbicidal activity displayed by IFN-gamma-primed macrophages.
Journal Of Immunology. Bethesda: Amer Assoc Immunologists, v. 159, n. 12, p. 6131-6139, 1997.