C5a and bradykinin receptor cross-talk regulates innate and adaptive immunity in trypanosoma cruzi infection

Veronica Schmitz, Larissa Nogueira Almeida, Erik Svensjö, Ana Carolina Monteiro, Jörg Köhl, Julio Scharfstein*

*Corresponding author for this work
13 Citations (Scopus)


Complement and the kallikrein-kinin cascade system are both activated in injured tissues. Little is known about their partnership in the immunopathogenesis of Chagas disease, the chronic infection caused by the intracellular protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. In this study, we show that pharmacological targeting of the C5a receptor (C5aR) or the bradykinin B2 receptor (B2R) inhibited plasma leakage in hamster cheek pouch topically exposed to tissue culture trypomastigotes (TCTs). Further, angiotensinconverting enzyme inhibitors potentiated TCT-evoked paw edema in BALB/c, C57BL/6, and C5-deficient A/J mice through activation of joint pathways between C5aR/B2R or C3aR/B2R. In addition to generation of C5a and kinins via parasitederived cruzipain, we demonstrate that macrophages internalize TCTs more efficiently through joint activation of C5aR/B2R. Furthermore, we found that C5aR targeting markedly reduces NO production and intracellular parasitism in macrophages. We then studied the impact of C5aR/B2R cross-talk in TCT infection on the development of adaptive immunity. We found that IL-12p40/70 expression was blunted in splenic dendritic cells by blocking either C5aR or B2R, suggesting that codominant signaling via C5aR and B2R fuels production of the Th1-polarizing cytokine. Finally, we assessed the impact of kinins and C5a liberated in parasite-laden tissues on Th cell differentiation. As predicted, BALB/c mice pretreated with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors potentiated IFN-g production by Ag-specific T cells via C5aR/B2R cross-talk. Interestingly, we found that B2R targeting upregulated IL-10 secretion, whereas C5aR blockade vigorously stimulated IL-4 production. In summary, we describe a novel pathway by which C5aR/B2R cross-talk couples transendothelial leakage of plasma proteins to the cytokine circuitry that coordinates antiparasite immunity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)3613-3623
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2014


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