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Leishmania donovani Exploits Tunneling Nanotubes for Dissemination and Propagation of B Cell Activation


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Stögerer, Tanja; Silva-Barrios, Sasha; Carmona-Pérez, Liseth; Swaminathan, Sharada; Mai, Linh Thuy; Leroux, Louis-Philippe; Jaramillo, Maritza ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1910-5684; Descoteaux, Albert ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0633-5309 et Stäger, Simona ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5508-9565 (2023). Leishmania donovani Exploits Tunneling Nanotubes for Dissemination and Propagation of B Cell Activation Microbiology spectrum , vol. 11 , nº 4:e05096. pp. 1-17. DOI: 10.1128/spectrum.05096-22.

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Polyclonal B cell activation and the resulting hypergammaglobulinemia are a detrimental consequence of visceral leishmaniasis (VL); however, the mechanisms underlying this excessive production of nonprotective antibodies are still poorly understood. Here, we show that a causative agent of VL, Leishmania donovani, induces CD21-dependent formation of tunneling nanotubule (TNT)-like protrusions in B cells. These intercellular connections are used by the parasite to disseminate among cells and propagate B cell activation, and close contact both among the cells and between B cells and parasites is required to achieve this activation. Direct contact between cells and parasites is also observed in vivo, as L. donovani can be detected in the splenic B cell area as early as 14 days postinfection. Interestingly, Leishmania parasites can also glide from macrophages to B cells via TNT-like protrusions. Taken together, our results suggest that, during in vivo infection, B cells may acquire L. donovani from macrophages via TNT-like protrusions, and these connections are subsequently exploited by the parasite to disseminate among B cells, thus propagating B cell activation and ultimately leading to polyclonal B cell activation. IMPORTANCE Leishmania donovani is a causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis, a potentially lethal disease characterized by strong B cell activation and the subsequent excessive production of nonprotective antibodies, which are known to worsen the disease. How Leishmania activates B cells is still unknown, particularly because this parasite mostly resides inside macrophages and would not have access to B cells during infection. In this study, we describe for the first time how the protozoan parasite Leishmania donovani induces and exploits the formation of protrusions that connect B lymphocytes with each other or with macrophages and glides on these structures from one cell to another. In this way, B cells can acquire Leishmania from macrophages and become activated upon contact with the parasites. This activation will then lead to antibody production. These findings provide an explanation for how the parasite may propagate B cell activation during infection.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: B cells; Leishmania; Leishmania donovani; polyclonal B cell activation; tunneling nanotubes.
Centre: Centre INRS-Institut Armand Frappier
Date de dépôt: 09 déc. 2023 18:06
Dernière modification: 09 déc. 2023 18:06
URI: https://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/13675

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