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The role of miR-150 in the immune response against Leishmania infantum in dogs

Grant number: 20/00565-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2020
Effective date (End): April 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Principal researcher:Valéria Marçal Felix de Lima
Grantee:Matheus Fujimura Soares
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária (FMVA). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araçatuba. Araçatuba , SP, Brazil


The Canine Leishmaniasis (CanL) is a zoonotic disease caused by the Leishmania genus protozoan, which Leishmania infantum is predominant in Brazil. The CanL is a chronic disease, and frequently fatal if not treated. It´s in expansion with high mortality rates, and the region of Araçatuba concentrates a high number of cases in the state. Moreover, the disease constitutes a serious Public Health issue, because the infected animals are transmissor of the parasite to humans, by sand fly bites. The disease in dogs is more prevalent than the disease in humans, and, commonly, the dogs cases precede the human cases. So, the dogs are important for control measures of Leishmaniasis. In these animals, the disease is characterized by a specific immunosuppression to the parasite, besides an intense pro-inflammatory response. The dogs with CanL build an inefficient cellular immune response (Th1) to fight against the parasite, associated with the increase of humoral immune response (Th2). Although the immunologic failure has already been caracterized, the determinant factors are little known. The miRNAs are small non-coding RNAs, involved in the mRNA regulation in the post-transcriptional level, where they act as genetic expression inhibitors, regulating the cell protein production. The miR-150 has its expression diminished in the periferic blood in the CanL, and in silico studies had shown that it can be involved in the TNF-a, GZMB, STAT1 ad HDAC8 pathways, which ensures L. infantum survival in the cells, but it hasn't been investigated yet. The discovery of these molecular mechanisms will be important to better understanding of the disease and new therapeutic approaches. (AU)

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