The Fulani ethnic group from West Africa is relatively better protected against Plasmodium falciparum malaria as compared to other sympatric ethnic groups, such as the Dogon. However, the mechanisms behind this lower susceptibility to malaria are largely unknown, particularly those concerning innate immunity. Antigen-presenting cells (APCs), and in particular dendritic cells (DCs) are important components of the innate and adaptive immune systems. Therefore, in this study we investigated whether APCs obtained from Fulani and Dogon children exhibited differences in terms of activation status and toll-like receptor (TLR) responses during malaria infection. Lower frequency and increased activation was observed in circulating plasmacytoid DCs and BDCA-3+ myeloid DCs of infected Fulani as compared to their uninfected counterparts. Conversely, a higher frequency and reduced activation was observed in the same DC subsets obtained from peripheral blood of P. falciparum-infected Dogon children as compared to their uninfected peers. Moreover, infected individuals of both ethnic groups exhibited higher percentages of both classical and inflammatory monocytes that were less activated as compared to their non-infected counterparts. In line with APC impairment during malaria infection, TLR4, TLR7 and TLR9 responses were strongly inhibited by P. falciparum infection in Dogon children, while no such TLR inhibition was observed in the Fulani children. Strikingly, the TLR-induced IFN-c release was completely abolished in the Dogon undergoing infection while no difference was seen within infected and non-infected Fulani. Thus, P. falciparum infection is associated with altered activation status of important APC subsets and strongly inhibited TLR responses in peripheral blood of Dogon children. In contrast, P. falciparum induces DC activation and does not affect the innate response to specific TLR ligands in Fulani children. These findings suggest that DCs and TLR signalling may be of importance for the protective immunity against malaria observed in the Fulani.

Interethnic Differences in Antigen-Presenting Cell Activation and TLR Responses in Malian Children during Plasmodium falciparum Malaria

VARANI, STEFANIA;
2011

Abstract

The Fulani ethnic group from West Africa is relatively better protected against Plasmodium falciparum malaria as compared to other sympatric ethnic groups, such as the Dogon. However, the mechanisms behind this lower susceptibility to malaria are largely unknown, particularly those concerning innate immunity. Antigen-presenting cells (APCs), and in particular dendritic cells (DCs) are important components of the innate and adaptive immune systems. Therefore, in this study we investigated whether APCs obtained from Fulani and Dogon children exhibited differences in terms of activation status and toll-like receptor (TLR) responses during malaria infection. Lower frequency and increased activation was observed in circulating plasmacytoid DCs and BDCA-3+ myeloid DCs of infected Fulani as compared to their uninfected counterparts. Conversely, a higher frequency and reduced activation was observed in the same DC subsets obtained from peripheral blood of P. falciparum-infected Dogon children as compared to their uninfected peers. Moreover, infected individuals of both ethnic groups exhibited higher percentages of both classical and inflammatory monocytes that were less activated as compared to their non-infected counterparts. In line with APC impairment during malaria infection, TLR4, TLR7 and TLR9 responses were strongly inhibited by P. falciparum infection in Dogon children, while no such TLR inhibition was observed in the Fulani children. Strikingly, the TLR-induced IFN-c release was completely abolished in the Dogon undergoing infection while no difference was seen within infected and non-infected Fulani. Thus, P. falciparum infection is associated with altered activation status of important APC subsets and strongly inhibited TLR responses in peripheral blood of Dogon children. In contrast, P. falciparum induces DC activation and does not affect the innate response to specific TLR ligands in Fulani children. These findings suggest that DCs and TLR signalling may be of importance for the protective immunity against malaria observed in the Fulani.
Arama C.; Giusti P.; Bostrom S.; Dara V.; Traore B.; Dolo A.; Doumbo O.; Varani S.; Troye-Blomberg M
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/102488
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