IL-1 signalling is dispensable for protective immunity in Leishmania-resistant mice

Exp Dermatol. 2011 Jan;20(1):76-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2010.01172.x. Epub 2010 Oct 18.


Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease affecting ∼12 million people. Control of infection (e.g. in C57BL/6 mice) results from IL-12-dependent production of IFNγ by Th1/Tc1 cells. In contrast, BALB/c mice succumb to infection because of preferential Th2-type cytokine induction. Infected dendritic cells (DC) represent important sources of IL-12. Genetically determined differences in DC IL-1α/β production contribute to disease outcome. Whereas the course of disease was not dramatically altered in IL-1RI(-/-) mice, local administration of IL-1α to infected C57BL/6 mice improved disease outcome. To definitively elucidate the involvement of IL-1 in immunity against leishmaniasis, we now utilized IL-1α/β-double-deficient C57BL/6 mice. C57BL/6 mice are believed to be a good surrogate model for human, self limited cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). Leishmania major-infected IL-1α/β(-/-) mice were resistant to experimental CL comparable to controls. In addition, DC-based vaccination against leishmaniasis in C57BL/6 mice was independent of IL-1. Thus, in Leishmania-resistant C57BL/6 mice, IL-1 signalling is dispensable for protection.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / parasitology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1 / immunology*
  • Interleukin-1alpha / administration & dosage
  • Interleukin-1alpha / deficiency
  • Interleukin-1alpha / genetics
  • Interleukin-1beta / deficiency
  • Interleukin-1beta / genetics
  • Leishmania major / immunology*
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous / immunology
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous / parasitology
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous / prevention & control
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / parasitology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Signal Transduction / immunology


  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-1alpha
  • Interleukin-1beta