CD45+, CD68+ and E-cadherin+ expressions in skin dogs naturally infected by Leishmania infantum

Társsila Mara Vieira Ferreira, Tiago Cunha Ferreira, Fernanda Maria Aragão Ximenes Porto, Conceição da Silva Martins, Belarmino Eugênio Lopes Neto, José Cláudio Carneiro de Freitas, Virgínia Cláudia Carneiro Girão, Diana Célia Sousa Nunes-Pinheiro


Background: In canine leishmaniasis (CanL), infection occurs through phlebotomine vectors that inoculate the protozoan Leishmania infantum into the skin that infected macrophages and activated dendritic cells (CD). Dogs with CanL present variable clinical manifestations, being common the presence of cutaneous lesions. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of CD45+ , CD68+ and E-cadherin+ associating the skin sentinels cells and to compare the clinical-dermatological manifestations in the skin of dogs naturally infected by L. infantum. Materials, Methods & Results: Dogs infected (n = 22) by L. infantum were divided into asymptomatic group (AD, n = 9), and symptomatic group (SD, n = 13), according criteria based on the presence or absence of skin changes. Dogs non-infected (CD, n = 5) were included as control group. Samples of skin biopsies collected from scapular region were processed by routine histology and labeled by immunohistochemistry with monoclonal antibodies against CD45+ , CD68+ and E-cadherin+ , and were described as none, mild, moderate and intense. SD presented keratoconjunctivitis, onychogryphose, lichenification, depigmentation, alopecia, hypotrichosis, erythematous dermatitis, exfoliative dermatitis, ulcerative dermatitis and crusted dermatitis, and the frequency these alterations was expressed as percentage. The results of hematological and biochemical parameters were analyzed by Kruskal-Wallis test followed by the Dunn’s test and expressed as mean ± standard deviation, with values P < 0.05. Leukocytosis (not significant), red blood cells, hematocrit and hemoglobin (P < 0.05), total protein serum (P < 0.05), globulins (P < 0.05), albumin and A/G ratio (P < 0.01) were altered in SD in relation to CD. Cutaneous cellular infiltration, composed by macrophages, plasma cells, lymphocytes and neutrophils, was observed in CD. There was an increase of expression of the markers in SD when compared to the other groups, as moderate CD68+ expression and L. infantum, and intense CD45+ and E-cadherin+ expressions. Discussion: Cutaneous involvement is very important in CanL, as it corresponds to where is the first interaction between the parasite and the immune system. Dermatological clinical signs, leukocytosis, anemia, globulins levels have been reported for dogs naturally infected by L. infantum. Inflammatory infiltrate was distributed at superficial and deep dermis, which was composed by mononuclear cells as macrophages, plasma cells, lymphocytes and neutrophils. To characterize the immune sentinels cells in the skin it was evaluated CD45+ , CD68+ and E-cadherin+ expressions. In syntomatic dogs, our results revelead an increase of expression of these markers. CD45+ is one of the most abundant molecules expressed on the white blood cell surface in various mammals, while CD68+ is a myelomonocytic marker that seems to be retained during monocyte differentiation. In the skin, increased numbers of CD68+ are related to dendritic epidermal cells, which can be expressed as CD45+ /CD1a- /HLADR+ . DCs of the skin, particularly epidermal Langerhans cells (LCs), form networks anchored to neighboring keratinocytes via E-cadherin. Thus, CD45+ , CD68+ and E-cadherin+ expressions may be related to activation of skin sentinels cells in dogs naturally infected by L. infantum. Our results indicated that CanL modify the CD45+ , CD68+ and E-cadherin+ expressions, which characterize the immune sentinels cells activation that promove the recruitment the cellular infiltrate, which was composed by macrophages, plasma cells, lymphocytes and neutrophils. Thus, these informations may contribute to the follow-up of CanL progression in skin.


leishmaniasis; Leishmania infantum; cutaneous immune system; skin alterations; immune sentinels cells; dogs

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