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Parasite Immunol. 2002 Mar;24(3):131-40.

The influence of gammadelta T cells on the CD4+ T cell and antibody response during a primary Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi infection in mice.

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Division of Parasitology, National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London, UK.


A primary infection with Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi (AS) is characterized by an expansion of gammadelta cells after the acute phase of infection in mice. This is particularly marked during chronic infections in B cell-deficient mice. Infections in gammadelta T cell-deficient mice suggest that, although these cells play some role in the control of parasitaemia and can produce interferon-gamma, they do not appear to be involved in the development of hypoglycaemia, loss of weight and temperature during a P. c. chabaudi infection. However, gammadelta T cells do influence the nature of the CD4+ T cell response during infection since, in their absence, Th2-like responses, such as interleukin (IL)-4 production and help for malaria-specific antibody responses, are more pronounced. This alteration in CD4+ T cells is reflected in a more rapid and greater immunoglobulin (Ig)G1 and IgG3 antibody response to the parasite. The large gammadelta T cell expansion normally observed in infected B cell-deficient mice did not take place in the absence of IL-2, and double-knockout mice lacking both B cells and functional IL-2 were highly susceptible to lethal infection with P. c. chabaudi. The majority of the single IL-2 knockout mice, in contrast, were able to control and clear a primary infection, suggesting that for the CD4+ T cell and antibody response, IL-2 could be replaced by other cytokines.

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