L-arginine metabolism and its impact on host immunity against Leishmania infection

Nanchaya Wanasen, Lynn Soong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


Leishmaniasis is a vector-borne disease found in many countries worldwide. The causative agent of the disease, Leishmania spp., lives as an obligate intracellular parasite within mammalian hosts. Since tissue macrophages are major target cells for parasite replication, the outcome of infection depends largely on the activation status of these cells. L-arginine is a crucial amino acid required for both nitric oxide (NO)-mediated parasite killing and polyamine-mediated parasite replication. This review highlights the significance of L-arginine as a factor determining the outcomes of Leishmania infection in vitro and its influences on host immune responses in vivo. Various therapeutic approaches targeting L-arginine metabolic pathways during infections with Leishmania are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-25
Number of pages11
JournalImmunologic Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Arginase
  • Host immune response
  • L-arginine transporter
  • Leishmania
  • Macrophages
  • Nitric oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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