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J Infect Dis. 2001 Jun 15;183(12):1794-800. Epub 2001 May 15.

Relative contribution of interferon-gamma and interleukin-10 to resistance to murine African trypanosomosis.

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


Resistance to Trypanosoma brucei brucei has been correlated with the ability of infected animals to produce interferon (IFN)-gamma and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in an early phase of infection, followed by interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-10 in late and chronic stages of the disease. Contributions of IFN-gamma and IL-10 in the control of parasitemia and survival of mice infected with T. brucei brucei were investigated by using IFN-gamma(-/-) and IL-10(-/-) mice. Results suggest that IFN-gamma, mainly secreted by CD8(+) T cells, is essential for parasite control via macrophage activation, which results in TNF and nitric oxide secretions. IL-10, partially secreted by CD4(+) T cells, seems to be important for the survival of infected mice. Its absence resulted in the sustained secretion of inflammatory mediators, which indicated the role of IL-10 in maintaining the balance between pathogenic and protective immune responses during African trypanosomosis.

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