Antimony-resistant Leishmania donovani exploits miR-466i to deactivate host MyD88 for regulating IL-10/IL-12 levels during early hours of infection

Budhaditya Mukherjee, Joydeep Paul, Sandip Mukherjee, Rupkatha Mukhopadhyay, Shantanabha Das, Kshudiram Naskar, Shyam Sundar, Jean-Claude Dujardin, Bhaskar Saha, Syamal Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


Infection with antimony-resistant Leishmania donovani (Sb(R)LD) induces aggressive pathology in the mammalian hosts as compared with ones with antimony-sensitive L. donovani (Sb(S)LD) infection. Sb(R)LD, but not Sb(S)LD, interacts with TLR2/TLR6 to induce IL-10 by exploiting p50/c-Rel subunits of NF-κB in infected macrophages (Mϕs). Most of the TLRs exploit the universal adaptor protein MyD88 to activate NF-κB. We now show that infection of Mϕs from MyD88(-/-) mice with Sb(R)LD gave rise to significantly higher intracellular parasite number coupled with elevated IL-10/IL-12 ratio in the culture supernatant as compared with infection in wild type (WT) Mϕs. Τhese attributes were not seen with Sb(S)LD in similar experiments. Further, Sb(R)LD infection upregulated miR-466i, which binds with 3'-untranslated region, leading to the downregulation of MyD88. Infection of MyD88(-/-) Mϕ or IL-12(-/-) Mϕ with Sb(R)LD induced IL-10 surge at 4 h, whereas the same in WT Mϕ started from 12 h. Thus, absence of IL-12 in MyD88(-/-) mice favored early binding of NF-κB subunits to the IL-10 promoter, resulting in IL-10 surge. Infection of MyD88(-/-) mice with Sb(R)LD showed significantly higher organ parasites coupled with ill-defined and immature hepatic granulomas, whereas in WT mice there were less organ parasites and the granulomas were well defined. From the survival kinetics it was observed that Sb(R)LD-infected MyD88(-/-) mice died by 60 d postinfection, whereas the WT mice continued to survive. Our results demonstrate that Sb(R)LD has evolved a unique strategy to evade host antileishmanial immune repertoire by manipulating host MyD88 to its advantage.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)2731-2742
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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