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Journal of Parasitology Research
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 165126, 11 pages
Review Article

Innate Immune Activation and Subversion of Mammalian Functions by Leishmania Lipophosphoglycan

1Department of Cell Biology, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, FMRP/USP, 14049-900, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil
2Department of Molecular Microbiology, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 S. Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA

Received 24 August 2011; Accepted 10 November 2011

Academic Editor: Hugo D. Lujan

Copyright © 2012 Luis H. Franco et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Leishmania promastigotes express several prominent glycoconjugates, either secreted or anchored to the parasite surface. Of these lipophosphoglycan (LPG) is the most abundant, and along with other phosphoglycan-bearing molecules, plays important roles in parasite infectivity and pathogenesis in both the sand fly and the mammalian host. Besides its contribution for parasite survival in the sand fly vector, LPG is important for modulation the host immune responses to favor the establishment of mammalian infection. This review will summarize the current knowledge regarding the role of LPG in Leishmania infectivity, focusing on the interaction of LPG and innate immune cells and in the subversion of mammalian functions by this molecule.