Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Biochemistry, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan

2 Department of Immunology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

3 Main Clinical Pathology Laboratories, Mayo Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan

4 Department of Health System Policy, Health Services Academy, Islamabad, Pakistan

5 Nano Science and Catalysis Division, National Centre for Physics, Islamabad, Pakistan


Background: Falciparum malaria is a severe health burden worldwide. Antigen presenting cells are reported to be affected by erythrocytic stage of the parasite. Malarial hemozoin (HZ), a metabolite of malaria parasite, has adjuvant properties and may play a role in the induction of immune response against the parasite.
Objective: To determine the immunological impact of hemozoin on the capacity of innate immune cells maturation.
Methods: Plasmodium falciparum (F32 strain) was cultured in O+ blood group up to 18% parasitemia. Natural hemozoin was extracted from infected red blood cells. Murine bone marrow derived macrophages and myeloid dendritic cells were stimulated with 4 ߤg/mL or 40 ߤg/mL of synthetic hemozoin (β-hematin) or natural hemozoin. We assessed the immunomodulatory role of synthetic or natural hemozoin in vitro by flowcytometric analysis.
Results: The maturation markers MHCII, CD80 and CD86 were significantly upregulated (p<0.05) on the surface of murine bone marrow derived macrophages or myeloid dendritic cells. Data confirmed the potential of macrophages or myeloid dendritic cells, through hemozoin activation, to establish an innate immune response against malaria parasites.
Conclusion: Both synthetic and natural hemozoin are potent inducers of cellular immunity against malaria infection. However, natural hemozoin is a stronger inducer as compared to synthetic hemozoin.