The interactions and essential effects of intrinsic insulin-like growth factor-I on Leishmania (Leishmania) major growth within macrophages

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Previously, we showed in Leishmania infections that extrinsic insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I favored Leishmania proliferation and leishmaniasis development. In this study, the interaction of intrinsically expressed IGF-I and Leishmania (Leishmania) major in macrophages was addressed, and a key finding was the observation, using confocal microscopy, of the co-localization of IGF-I and parasites within macrophages. Following stimulation with interferon-γ (IFN-γ), which is known to inhibit IGF-I production in macrophages, we observed a reduction in the expression of both IGF-I mRNA and protein. This reduced expression was accompanied by a reduction in the cellular parasite load that was completely recovered with the addition of extrinsic IGF-I, which suggests an essential role for IGF-I in Leishmania growth.

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