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J Immunol. 1992 Apr 1;148(7):2261-9.

In vivo molecular analysis of lymphokines involved in the murine immune response during Schistosoma mansoni infection. II. Quantification of IL-4 mRNA, IFN-gamma mRNA, and IL-2 mRNA levels in the granulomatous livers, mesenteric lymph nodes, and spleens during the course of modulation.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37212.


Parasite egg-induced granulomas are the primary pathogenic lesions in murine schistosomiasis mansoni. This cell-mediated granulomatous response is specific for soluble egg Ag and appears to be mediated predominantly by CD4+ Th2 cells. As infection progresses from the acute to the chronic phase, the cell-mediated anti-soluble egg Ag responses attenuate in a process termed modulation. In this study the hypothesis that modulation is effected by a chronic phase increase in Th2-inhibiting Th1 cell activity was investigated. Northern blot quantification of mRNA specific for the Th2 lymphokine, IL-4, and the Th1 lymphokines, IFN-gamma and IL-2, in the spleens, mesenteric lymph nodes, and granulomatous livers of mice infected for various lengths of time over the course of modulation was performed. Also, the capacity of mitogen- and Ag-stimulated spleen cells to produce message for these lymphokines was compared. Peak tissue levels of both IL-4 mRNA and IFN-gamma mRNA were seen in acutely infected mice, and levels of both messages declined as infection became chronic. Stimulated spleen cells from acutely infected mice also produced higher levels of IL-4 and IFN-gamma mRNA than cells from chronically infected mice. IL-2 mRNA was never detected in any tissue sample but was detected in the stimulated spleen cells, again with acute phase levels higher than chronic phase levels. Hence, this study shows no evidence for increased Th1 cell activity during chronic infection and suggests that modulation may be effected by a generalized suppression of lymphokine synthesis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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