Immune dysregulation and inflammation causing hypopigmentation in post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis: partners in crime?

Ritika Sengupta, Madhurima Roy, Nidhi S Dey, Paul M Kaye, Mitali Chatterjee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL), a heterogeneous dermal sequela of visceral leishmaniasis (VL), is challenging in terms of its etiopathogenesis. Hypopigmentation is a consistent clinical feature in PKDL, but mechanisms contributing to the loss of melanocytes remains poorly defined. Like other hypopigmentary dermatoses – for example, vitiligo, psoriasis, and leprosy – the destruction of melanocytes is likely a multifactorial phenomenon, key players being immune dysregulation and inflammation. This review focuses on immunological mechanisms responsible for the ‘murder’ of melanocytes, prime suspects at the lesional sites being CD8+ T cells and keratinocytes and their criminal tools being proinflammatory cytokines, for example, IFN-γ, IL-6, and TNF-α. Collectively, these may cause decreased secretion of melanocyte growth factors, loss/attenuation of cell adhesion molecules and inflammasome activation, culminating in melanocyte death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)822-836
Number of pages15
JournalTrends in parasitology
Volume39
Issue number10
Early online date15 Aug 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work received financial assistance to M.C. as a J.C. Bose Fellowship, Govt. of India ( JCB/2019/000043 ); R.S. and M.R. are recipients of Senior Research Fellowship from Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR, Govt. of India and University Grants Commission, respectively.

Funding Information:
The work received financial assistance to M.C. as a J.C. Bose Fellowship, Govt. of India (JCB/2019/000043); R.S. and M.R. are recipients of Senior Research Fellowship from Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR, Govt. of India and University Grants Commission, respectively. The authors declare no competing interests.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

Keywords

  • Humans
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral/complications
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Hypopigmentation
  • Crime
  • Inflammation

Cite this