The role of the secreted factor DEL-1 on Leishmania-induced immune responses

Project: Other projectOther internal award

Project Details


Parasitic infections have been associated with chronic destructive inflammation and increased rates of morbidity and mortality thus having immense and long-lasting socioeconomic consequences. In particular, Leishmania parasites affect several tissues including the spleen, liver and bone marrow and are responsible for the globally important disease known as leishmaniasis (

This project explores the role of the factor Developmental Endothelial Locus 1 (DEL-1) in immune regulation during leishmaniasis. Whilst strong immune responses are necessary to kill pathogens, it is equally important that immune cells are turned off to prevent excessive damage to host tissue. The PI has identified that DEL-1 has a dual role in stopping inflammation by inhibiting immune cell recruitment to the inflamed site, and also by promoting the removal of dying inflammatory cells by a process called phagocytosis. The PI has also previously demonstated that DEL-1 alters the function of macrophages, immune cells with key roles in inflammation, thus affecting the dynamics of the inflammatory response.

Importantly, macrophages can act as a safe haven Leishmania parasites to reside and multiply, depending on their differentiation status. Failure to kill Leishmania can cause macrophages to release large amounts of inflammatory molecules that promote potentially damaging inflammation. Therefore, macrophages represent a central player in the regulation of leishmaniasis immunopathology.
Effective start/end date16/02/2130/09/21