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Found a couple of good articles about the role of the immune system in the destruction of protozoa, namely macrophage activity. Nitric Oxide (NO) is a byproduct of macrophage activation which kills protozoa. NO production is involved in many other processes as well is dependent on the amino acid Arginine.
Macrophage cytotoxicity against Entamoeba histolytica trophozoites is mediated by nitric oxide from L-arginine.
Lin JY, Chadee K.
Institute of Parasitology, McGill University, Ste-Anne de Bellevue, Québec, Canada.
The killing of Entamoeba histolytica trophozoites by phagocytes involves oxidative and nonoxidative mediators. In this study, we determine whether L-arginine-derived nitric oxide (NO) is involved in the killing of E. histolytica trophozoites by activated murine macrophages in vitro. Elicited peritoneal and bone marrow-derived macrophages activated with IFN-gamma alone or with IFN-gamma and LPS killed 62 to 73% of amebae, concomitant with increased levels of nitrate (NO2). Depletion of L-arginine by addition of arginase to culture medium abrogated macrophage amebicidal activity. NG-monomethyl L-arginine, an L-arginine analog, competitively inhibited NO2 release and amebicidal activity in a dose-dependent fashion, without affecting H2O2 production; however, the addition of excess L-arginine competitively restored macrophage amebicidal effects. In culture, sodium nitrite and sodium nitroprusside were cytotoxic to E. histolytica and this was reversed by the addition of myoglobin. Exogenously added FeSO4 prevented macrophage cytotoxicity. Addition of superoxide dismutase, a scavenger of O2-, partially inhibited amebicidal activity, without influencing NO2 production. Untreated and LPS-exposed macrophages produced high levels of H2O2 independent from NO2 production and amebicidal effects. However, the addition of catalase, a scavenger of H2O2, inhibited both amebicidal activity and NO2 production by activated macrophages. Our results demonstrate that NO is the major cytotoxic molecule released by activated macrophages for the in vitro cytotoxicity of E. histolytica and that O2- and H2O2 may be cofactors for the NO effector molecule.
PMID: 1318338 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]1
Activated mouse macrophages kill Entamoeba histolytica trophozoites by releasing reactive nitrogen intermediates.
Denis M, Ghadirian E.
Unité de Recherche Pulmonaire, CHUS, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.
Mouse macrophages activated by gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) and bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) are highly cytotoxic for the enteric protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica. Herein, we show that this killing by activated macrophages is L-arginine dependent, inasmuch as it was blocked by exogenous arginase or NG-monomethyl-L-arginine. These two inhibitors had no effect on E. histolytica cytolytic activity against L929 fibroblasts. Also, macrophage killing of E. histolytica always correlated with nitrite presence in the supernatant fluids. Finally, it was shown that addition of excess iron or the reductant sodium dithionite to activated macrophages blocked their ability to kill E. histolytica. Overall, this suggests that killing of E. histolytica by activated macrophages depends on the production of reactive nitrogen intermediates which leads to critical iron loss and protozoan parasite death.