Immunol Rev. 2007 Oct;219:66-74
This article provides a summary and discussion of properties of Leishmania amazonensis-loaded mouse macrophages. It illustrates how high-throughput analysis is expected to contribute to deciphering features displayed by macrophages when they are subverted as host cells for replicating Leishmania amastigotes. Firstly, we discuss features of mouse mononuclear phagocytes in steady-state conditions, including the phagocytosis of apoptotic cells. Secondly, we discuss results from ongoing investigations aimed at characterizing transcriptional signatures displayed by BALB/c mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages housing replicating L. amazonensis amastigotes. After a brief presentation on the feasibility of high-throughput microscopy relying on our robust culture system, we share some perspectives on the perpetuation of L. amazonensis in their hosts. Within this latter context, a novel question is formulated and its relevance is discussed: do the Leishmania amastigotes that persist within the mammalian dermis reach a non-replicating developmental stage? If so, is this developmental stage the only one displaying the features required for further development as promastigotes within the sand fly gut lumen?