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Eur J Immunol. 1992 Feb;22(2):357-64.

Altered course of visceral leishmaniasis in mice expressing transgenic I-E molecules.

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Department of Medical Parasitology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


Previous studies had shown that the outcome of infection with Leishmania donovani was exquisitely sensitive to the influence of the major histocompatibility complex. In this study, we have examined the course of infection in non-obese diabetic (NOD) and NOD-E-3 mice, the latter expressing an I-E molecule as a result of transgenic introduction of the wild-type Ed alpha gene. Introduction of this transgene significantly altered the course of infection allowing for enhanced parasite multiplication in the viscera from day 14 to day 28. This was associated with both a delayed and reduced tissue granulomatous response in NOD-E-3 mice. In vitro, spleen cells from these mice produced equivalent levels of interferon (IFN)-gamma during the early phase of infection but this originated from populations having a different balance of T cells subsets. In NOD mice CD8+ T cells contribute substantially to the total levels of IFN-gamma produced, but in transgenic mice the contribution from this subset is significantly decreased. This is reflected in a reduction in the proportion of Leishmania-specific CD8+ T cells, which could only partially be accounted for by deletion of V beta 5- and V beta 3-expressing CD8+ T cells in NOD-E-3 mice. This study highlights the impact of the introduction of a class II gene product on disease outcome and unexpectedly on the functional potential of CD8+ T cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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