Ox40L-Ox40 pathway plays distinct roles in regulating Th2 responses but does not determine outcome of cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania mexicana and Leishmania major.

Date Published:

2015 Jan


Ox40 ligand (Ox40L)-Ox40 pathway has been shown to enhance Th2 responses and play a role in pathogenesis of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) caused by Leishmania major. Using Ox40l(-/-) BALB/c mice we analyzed the role of this pathway in determining the outcome to CL caused by L. mexicana and compared to L. major. Contrary to our expectations, Ox40l(-/-) mice were highly susceptible to both L. major (LV39) and L. mexicana (M379) and developed large non-healing lesions containing parasites comparable to Ox40l(+/+) BALB/c mice. Interestingly, upon in vitro stimulation with Leishmania antigen (LmAg), the lymph node cells from L. major infected Ox40l(-/-) mice produced significantly less IL-4 and IL-10 compared to Ox40l(+/+) mice. L. mexicana infected Ox40l(-/-) and Ox40l(+/+) mice did not show any difference in the production of IL-4 and IL-10. No difference was noted in the amount of Th1 cytokines IFN-ү and IL-12 produced by Ox40l(-/-) and Ox40l(+/+) mice infected with either parasite. These results indicate that the Ox40L-Ox40 pathway promotes Th2 bias only in L. major infection but not L. mexicana infection and this pathway is not critical for susceptibility to CL.