Interaction of natural killer cells with Trypanosoma cruzi-infected fibroblasts

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The protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi circulates in the blood as trypomastigotes and invades a variety of cells to multiply intracellularly as amastigotes. The acute phase triggers an immune response that restricts the proliferation of the parasite. However, parasites are able to persist in different tissues causing the pathology of Chagas' disease. Natural killer (NK) cells play an important role in innate resistance to a variety of pathogens. In the present study we demonstrate that NK cells trigger trypanocidal mechanisms in infected L929 cells that are critically dependent on inducible nitric oxide (NO) synthase (iNOS) induction which is, to a major degree, triggered by interferon (IFN)-γ provided by NK cells. This work provides a more detailed analysis of how NK cells as a part of the innate immune system participate in the control of parasites that reside intracellularly in fibroblast-like L929 cells.

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