• Interleukin-11 receptor expression on monocytes is dispensable for their recruitment and pathogen uptake during Leishmania major infection.

      Baars, Iris; Lokau, Juliane; Sauerland, Ina; Müller, Andreas J; Garbers, Christoph; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Academic Press/ Elsevier, 2021-09-13)
      Interleukin-11 (IL-11) is an important member of the IL-6 family of cytokines. IL-11 activates its target cells via binding to a non-signaling α-receptor (IL-11R), which results in recruitment and activation of a gp130 homodimer. The cytokine was initially described as an anti-inflammatory protein, but has recently gained attention as a potent driver in certain types of cancer and different fibrotic conditions. Leishmania spp. are a group of eukaryotic parasites that cause the disease leishmaniasis. They infect phagocytes of their hosts, especially monocytes recruited to the site of infection, and are able to replicate within this rather harsh environment, often resulting in chronic infections of the patient. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying parasite and host cell interactions and factors of the immune cells that are crucial for Leishmania uptake are so far largely unspecified. Recently, increased IL-11 expression in the lesions of patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis has been reported, but the functional relevance is unknown. In this study, we show that monocytes express IL-11R on their cell surface. Furthermore, using an adoptive transfer model of IL-11R-/- monocytes, we analyze the contribution of IL-11 signaling on monocyte recruitment and monocyte infection in a mouse model of cutaneous leishmaniasis and find that IL-11 signaling is dispensable for monocyte recruitment and pathogen uptake during Leishmania major infection.