Share this publication:
Background: Nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB) transcription factors play a central role in controlling the expression of genes involved in inflammatory reactions, proliferation, and survival of human cells. However, the in situ evaluation of NFκB activity in leprosy has not been completed previously. The aim of this study was to determine whether NFκB activity correlates with susceptibility or resistance to Mycobacterium leprae infection in biopsies from skin lesions of 38 patients with the clinical and laboratory diagnosis of leprosy.
Methods: The NFκB activation profile was evaluated in biopsies from skin lesions of 38 patients with the clinical and laboratory diagnosis of leprosy. NFκB activation was evaluated and quantified by Southwestern histochemistry, and its activation index (range, 0–4) was calculated according to the percentage of nuclear positivity by the histochemistry. Activation index >1 was considered representative of activation of NFκB.
Results: Fifteen patients (39.5%) demonstrated activated NFκB. Multibacillary leprosy was associated with activated NFκB (54.5%, P=0.028). Borderline leprosy was most strongly associated with NFκB activation (80%), with an odds ratio of 32.7 (P=0.016). These clinical forms are characterized by increased susceptibility to M. leprae and by immunological instability. Activation of NFκB was absent in the granulomas in tuberculoid leprosy, which represents an effective inflammatory reaction pattern against M. leprae.
Conclusion: These results indicate that NFκB activation could favor susceptibility and immunological instability to M. leprae infection, potentially by the stimulation of phagocytosis and the regulation of apoptotic mechanisms of infected cells, leading to the proliferation of this intracellular bacillus. Further studies are needed to evaluate if inhibition of NFκB activation in multibacillary leprosy could favor resistance and an effective granulomatous immune response.
About the publisher:
We are a publishing house devoted to reuse CC-BY licensed published materials.
Using CC-BY licenses:
YOU ARE FREE TO:
- Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
- Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
- for any purpose, even commercially.
- The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.
UNDER THE FOLLOWING TERMS:
Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
- No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others
from doing anything the license permits.
- You do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation.
- No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.