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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2014, Article ID 134974, 12 pages
Research Article

Macrophage P2X7 Receptor Function Is Reduced during Schistosomiasis: Putative Role of TGF-β1

1Laboratory of Immunophysiology, Institute of Biophysics Carlos Chagas Filho, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2Laboratory of Molecular and Biochemical Pharmacology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, 21941-599 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
3National Institute of Translational Research in Health and Environment in the Amazon Region, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
4Laboratory for Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics, Oswaldo Cruz Institute, FIOCRUZ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
5Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho, UFRJ, Edifício do Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Bloco G., Avenida Carlos Chagas Filho 373, Cidade Universitária, Ilha do Fundão, 21941-902 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Received 2 May 2014; Revised 14 July 2014; Accepted 4 August 2014; Published 24 August 2014

Academic Editor: Jean Sévigny

Copyright © 2014 Suellen D’arc Santos Oliveira 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.


Schistosomiasis is a chronic inflammatory disease whose macrophages are involved in immunopathology modulation. Although P2X7 receptor signaling plays an important role in inflammatory responses mediated by macrophages, no reports have examined the role of P2X7 receptors in macrophage function during schistosomiasis. Thus, we evaluated P2X7 receptor function in peritoneal macrophages during schistosomiasis using an ATP-induced permeabilization assay and measurements of the intracellular Ca2+ concentration. ATP treatment induced significantly less permeabilization in macrophages from S. mansoni-infected mice than in control cells from uninfected animals. Furthermore, P2X7-mediated increases in intracellular Ca2+ levels were also reduced in macrophages from infected mice. TGF-β1 levels were increased in the peritoneal cavity of infected animals, and pretreatment of control macrophages with TGF-β1 reduced ATP-induced permeabilization, mimicking the effect of S. mansoni infection. Western blot and qRT-PCR data showed no difference in P2X7 protein and mRNA between uninfected, infected, and TGF-β1-treated groups. However, immunofluorescence analysis revealed reduced cell surface localization of P2X7 receptors in macrophages from infected and TGF-β1-treated mice compared to controls. Therefore, our data suggest that schistosomiasis reduces peritoneal macrophage P2X7 receptor signaling. This effect is likely due to the fact that infected mice have increased levels of TGF-β1, which reduces P2X7 receptor cell surface expression.