Miltefosine effectively modulates the cytokine milieu in Indian post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis.J Infect Dis. 2011 Nov; 204(9):1427-36.JI
The increasing incidence of unresponsiveness to antimonials in leishmaniasis prompted the use of newer drugs such as miltefosine. Miltefosine influences macrophage effector functions, but its effect on patients with post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) has not been evaluated.
The immunomodulatory activity of miltefosine was evaluated in patients with PKDL by studying the expression of activation markers (CD14 and CD16) and costimulatory molecules (CD80 and CD86) on circulating monocytes, levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin 6, interleukin 1β, and interleukin 8) and anti-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin 10, transforming growth factor β, interleukin 4, and interleukin 13) in serum and peripheral blood mononuclear cell culture supernatants, and serum nitrite and arginase activity.
Miltefosine on circulating monocytes upregulated expression of CD16 and CD86 and reduced that of CD14. Miltefosine also induced a significant increase in circulating levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines with a concomitant decrease in anti-inflammatory cytokines. Its macrophage activating potential was evidenced by its ability to decrease serum arginase activity and increase serum nitrite.
Miltefosine increased the proportion of monocytes that have a pro-inflammatory phenotype, which was accompanied by an enhanced secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and increased levels of serum nitrite. The decrease in anti-inflammatory cytokine levels and serum arginase activity collectively indicated that miltefosine triggered a robust T-helper 1 response that facilitated parasite elimination.