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Immunity. 1999 Jun;10(6):651-60.

Interleukin 10-mediated immunosuppression by a variant CD4 T cell epitope of Plasmodium falciparum.

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Institute of Molecular Medicine, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, United Kingdom.


The immunodominant CD4 T cell epitope region, Th2R, of the circumsporozoite protein of Plasmodium falciparum is highly polymorphic. Such variation might be utilized by the parasite to escape from or interfere with CD4 T cell effector functions. Here, we show that costimulation with naturally occurring altered peptide ligands (APL) can induce a rapid change from IFNgamma production to the immunosuppressive mediator interleukin 10 (IL-10). This mechanism may contribute to the low levels of T cell responses observed to this pathogen in malaria-endemic areas.

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