Interleukin-18 deficient mice on a BALB/c background display increased resistance to cutaneous infection with Leishmania mexicana, with reduced lesion progression and reduced parasite burdens compared with wild-type mice. Infected IL-18−/− mice had lower antigen specific IgG1 levels and total IgE levels and conversely higher antigen specific IgG2a levels than similarly infected wild-type mice. Splenocytes isolated from infected IL-18−/− mice produced significantly lower levels of antigen induced IL-4 and higher levels of IFN-γ than wild-type animals. Consequently IL-18 during L. mexicana infection of BALB/c mice promotes a Th2 biased response and thereby has a disease exacerbating role.
- leishmania mexicana