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Parasite Immunol. 2000 Sep;22(9):425-35.

Differential interleukin-10 expression in interferon regulatory factor-1 deficient mice during Plasmodium berghei blood-stage infection.

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1
Molecular Parasitology Laboratory, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260, Singapore.

Abstract

Mice deficient of functional interferon regulatory factor-1 (IRF-1-/-) by targeted gene disruption infected with a lethal murine malaria strain, Plasmodium berghei ANKA survived longer than its wild-type littermates despite the inability to induce appreciable amounts of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and nitric oxide. In addition, infected IRF-1-/- mice displayed less organ injury with reduced necrosis and inflammation. Both wild-type and IRF-1-/- mice treated with exogenous interleukin-12 (IL-12) suffered extensive organ damage with corresponding up regulation of IFN-gamma, suggesting the pathogenic potential of IL-12 and IFN-gamma. IL-10 is a cytokine produced by CD4+ T lymphocytes belonging to the Th2 subset. Expression of IL-10 in the wild-type mice correlated with the severity of the infection, with higher mRNA expression towards the later stage of infection. In contrast to the wild-type mice, IL-10 levels in the IRF-1-/- mice were induced early in the infection and decreased gradually as the infection progressed. Both untreated and IL-12 treated wild-type mice appeared to follow a Th1-like immune response early in the infection and a Th2-like immune response later in the infection. However, the IRF-1-/- mice were able to launch an altered immune response with a Th2-like immune response early in the infection. These findings suggest that IL-10 expression in the IRF-1-/- mice during the early stage of P. berghei ANKA infection could play an important role in suppressing pathogenic effects of a cell mediated immune response and promoting protective immunity against the parasite.

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