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Infect Immun. 1996 Apr;64(4):1126-32.

Transfer of a CD4+ Th1 cell line to nude mice effects clearance of Rhodococcus equi from the lung.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA.


Rhodococcus equi, and intracellular respiratory pathogen, causes sever e granulomatous pneumonia in humans with AIDS and in young horses. Pulmonary clearance of R. equi requires functional CD4+ T cells and gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) expression from bronchial lymph node cells. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether R. equi-specific CD4+ Th1 cells could effect clearance of R. equi from the lung. Adoptive transfer of a clearance of R. equi from the lungs. In contrast, mice transfused with a R. equi-specific CD4+ Th2 cell line expressed interleukin-4 but not IFN-gamma mRNA, failed to clear pulmonary infection, and developed granulomas in the lung. Control mice, which did not receive cells, did not produce IFN-gamma or interleukin-4 and developed small pulmonary granulomas. These results clearly show that a Th1 response is sufficient to effect pulmonary clearance of R. equi.

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