University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Histopathological and immunohistochemical characterisation of hepatic granulomas in Leishmania donovani-infected BALB/c mice: a time-course study

Salguero Bodes, Francisco, Garcia-Jimenez, Waldo L., Lima, Isadora and Seifert, Karin (2017) Histopathological and immunohistochemical characterisation of hepatic granulomas in Leishmania donovani-infected BALB/c mice: a time-course study Parasites and Vectors, 11 (73).

s13071-018-2624-z.pdf - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (6MB) | Preview


Background: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a neglected tropical disease (NTD), caused by the intracellular protozoan parasites Leishmania donovani and Leishmania infantum. Symptomatic VL is considered fatal when left untreated. At present, there is no effective vaccine licensed for human use and available chemotherapies have limitations. Understanding the local immune mechanisms required for the control of infection is a key factor for developing effective vaccines and therapeutics.

Methods: We have investigated the development of the typical granulomatous lesions in the liver in experimental VL over time, together with the local immune responses. BALB/c mice were infected intravenously with a dose of 2 × 107 L. donovani amastigotes (MHOM/ET/67/HU3) and sacrificed at 15, 35 and 63 days post-infection (dpi). Histopathology and immunohistochemical techniques were used for the detection of Leishmania antigen, selected cell types including B and T lymphocytes, macrophages and neutrophils (CD45R-B220+, CD3+, F4/80+ and Ly-6G+) and iNOS.

Results: Granulomatous lesions were identified as early as 15 dpi in the livers of all infected animals. Three categories were used to classify liver granulomas (immature, mature and clear). Clear granulomas were exclusively detected from 35 dpi onwards. Kupffer cells (F4/80+) were predominant in immature granulomas, regardless of the dpi. Nonetheless, the highest expression was found 63 dpi. Positive staining for iNOS was mainly observed in the cytoplasm of fused Kupffer cells and the highest expression observed at 35 dpi. T cells (CD3+) and B cells (CD45R-B220+) were predominant in more advanced granuloma stages, probably related to the establishment of acquired immunity. Neutrophils (Ly-6G+) were predominantly observed in mature granulomas with the highest expression at 15 dpi. Neutrophils were lower in numbers compared to other cell types, particularly at later time points.

Conclusions: Our results reflect the role of macrophages during the early stage of infection and the establishment of a lymphocytic response to control the infection in more advanced stages.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Authors :
Salguero Bodes,
Garcia-Jimenez, Waldo L.
Lima, Isadora
Seifert, Karin
Date : 31 January 2017
Funders : UK Medical Research Council (MRC)
DOI : 10.1186/s13071-018-2624-z
Copyright Disclaimer : © the authors 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Leishmania donovani; Visceral leishmaniasis; Histopathology; Immunohistochemistry; Macrophage; Granuloma
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 20 Dec 2017 15:51
Last Modified : 11 Dec 2018 11:23

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800