cDNA sequencing and expression of Nramp1 (Slc11a1) in dogs phenotypically resistant or susceptible to visceral leishmaniasis.


Nramp1 (Slc11a1) is linked to resistance to Leishmania in mice, but its role in canine leishmaniasis is not clear. In this study we sequenced the Nramp1 cDNA from dogs whose macrophages allowed or restricted intracellular growth of Leishmania chagasi. Peripheral blood monocyte-derived macrophages were isolated from 29 dogs, cultured and inoculated with L. chagasi. This approach resulted in the identification of dogs whose macrophages were resistant or susceptible to L. chagasi. Nramp1 cDNA sequences of these dogs were identical. mRNA levels of Nramp1, IFNgamma, IL-4 and the subunit p35 of IL-12 were assessed in the spleen of naturally infected symptomatic and asymptomatic dogs in comparison to uninfected controls. Although not statistically significant, asymptomatic dogs had a tendency for higher levels of Nramp1 mRNA (p = 0.11). Expression of Nramp1 was then compared between phenotypically resistant and susceptible dogs, without any significant difference between these groups.