Envenomation caused by contact with Lonomia obliqua bristles is characterized by pain, an intense systemic proinflammatory reaction and disturbances in the coagulation cascade that can cause severe clinical manifestations and death. However, the role of immune system components in these effects is still poorly understood. In this study, we evaluated the cytotoxic effect of L. obliqua venom on THP-1-derived macrophages and its ability to modulate inflammatory markers, as well as the cytokine and chemokine release profile. Our results show that L. obliqua venom is able to directly exert a potent pro-inflammatory reaction in macrophages, characterized by the activation of the NF-κB transcription factor pathway, the expression of CD80 and CD83, and the release of pro-inflammatory mediators such as TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and CXCL10. These results suggest that macrophages can play an important role during the orchestration of the inflammatory response present in envenomation caused by Lonomia obliqua caterpillars.
Keywords: Inflammation; Lonomia obliqua; macrophage activation.