Differential induction of TNFalpha and IL-18 in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells infected with Leishmania major or Leishmania donovani

New Microbiol. 2003 Oct;26(4):399-404.


Several cytokines are involved in the host response to Leishmania. However, the role played by cytokines during infection with different species of Leishmania is not univocal. In this work, the production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) and interleukin 18 (IL-18) during interaction of human phagocytes with Leishmania major or L. donovani was comparatively investigated. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and monocytes from healthy donors were used. The release of TNFalpha and IL-18 during infection of cells with different species of Leishmania "in vitro" was evaluated. L. donovani induced in both PBMC and monocytes significantly more TNFalpha and IL-18 with respect to L. major. The amounts of TNFalpha released by PBMC were always significantly higher than those released by monocytes of the same donors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-18 / metabolism*
  • Leishmania donovani*
  • Leishmania major*
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous / immunology*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / immunology*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / cytology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / microbiology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*


  • Interleukin-18
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha