Volume 70, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


We characterized key leukocyte immunophenotypes in the liver and spleen of naturally infected dogs from an area in Venezuela endemic for leishmaniasis. Dogs were classified as symptomatic or asymptomatic after serologic and physical analysis. Symptomatic dogs showed a higher parasite burden in the liver and spleen than asymptomatic dogs. The livers of asymptomatic dogs showed an effective immunity with well-organized granulomas walling off parasites in an environment of central memory CD44, CD45RO, activated effector CD44, and CD45RO T cells. These granulomas also had many major histocompatibility class II+ cells and CD11c+ dendritic cells, and cells expressing CD18 and CD44. In contrast, symptomatic livers showed a non-organized and non-effective infiltrate composed of T cells and heavily parasitized Kupffer cells and a diminished expression of activation molecules. In the spleen, the immune responses of symptomatic and asymptomatic dogs were very similar. The results showed a distinct immune response against in target organs.


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  • Received : 29 Jul 2003
  • Accepted : 07 Jan 2004

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