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J Infect Dis. 2000 Mar;181(3):1110-20.

Attenuation of Trypanosoma brucei is associated with reduced immunosuppression and concomitant production of Th2 lymphokines.

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Department of Immunology, Parasitology, and Ultrastructure, Flemish Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology, St.-Genesius-Rode, Belgium.


Mechanisms regulating resistance to African trypanosomes were addressed by comparing the immune responses of mice infected with attenuated Trypanosoma brucei brucei lacking the phospholipase C gene (PLC-/-) and those of mice infected with wild-type (WT) parasites. Inhibition of concanavalin A (ConA)-induced T cell proliferation occurred in spleen and lymph nodes of PLC-/-- and WT-infected mice. Although suppressive cells were elicited in spleen and lymph nodes of WT-infected animals, such cells were not detected in lymph nodes of PLC-/--infected mice. PLC-/--infected mice had more interleukin-4 and -10 in their blood than did WT-infected mice. Correspondingly, PLC-/--infected mice had higher IgG1 antibody levels against variant surface glycoprotein than did WT-infected mice. These data indicate that attenuation of T. b. brucei correlates with the absence of cells suppressing ConA-induced T cell proliferation in the lymph nodes, with increased production of Th2 cytokines and a stronger IgG1 antibody response to trypanosome antigens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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