Susceptibility to Entamoeba histolytica intestinal infection is related to reduction in natural killer T-lymphocytes in C57BL/6 mice

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Fabrício M.S. Oliveira
Bernardo C. Horta
Luana O. Prata
Andrezza F. Santiago
Andréa C. Alves
Ana M.C. Faria
Maria A. Gomes
Marcelo V. Caliari *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Marcelo V. Caliari | caliari@icb.ufmg.br

Abstract

Entamoeba histolytica is a protozoan that causes amoebiasis. Recent studies demonstrated that natural killer T lymphocytes (NKT) are critical for preventing the development of amoebic liver abscess. In spite of that, there are only a handful of studies in the area. Herein, we explored the role of NKT cells in E. histolytica infection using C57BL/6 wild-type and CD1-/- mice. Animals were inoculated with E. histolytica and sacrificed 48 hours later to collect caecum samples that were used for quantitative analyses of lesions, trophozoites, NK1.1+ T lymphocytes and expression of the mucus protein MUC-2 by immunohistochemistry technique. Quantitative analyses confirmed that the frequency of NK1.1+ T cells was significantly lower in samples from C57BL/6 CD1-/- mice as compared to their wild type (WT) counterparts. The extension of necrotic mucosa was larger and the number of trophozoites higher in Entamoeba (Eh)-infected CD1-/- mice when compared with Eh-infected WT mice. In mice from both groups, noninfected (CTRL) and Eh-infected CD1-/-, there was a reduction in the thickness of the caecal mucosa and in the MUC-2-stained area in comparison with CTRL- and Eh-WT mice. Our results showed that NKT lymphocytes contribute to resistance against Entamoeba histolytica infection and to the control of inflammation in the colitis induced by infection. The presence of a normal epithelial layer containing appropriate levels of mucus had also a protective role against infection.

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Author Biographies

Fabrício M.S. Oliveira, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Patologia, Departamento de Patologia Geral, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Minas Gerais



Bernardo C. Horta, Departamento de Bioquímica e Imnologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Minas Gerais


Andrezza F. Santiago, Departamento de Bioquímica e Imnologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Minas Gerais


Andréa C. Alves, Departamento de Bioquímica e Imnologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Minas Gerais


Ana M.C. Faria, Departamento de Bioquímica e Imnologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Minas Gerais


Maria A. Gomes, Departamento de Parasitologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Minas Gerais


Marcelo V. Caliari, Departamento de Patologia Geral, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Minas Gerais