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Immunity. 2003 Nov;19(5):657-67.

WSX-1 is required for resistance to Trypanosoma cruzi infection by regulation of proinflammatory cytokine production.

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The Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan.


WSX-1 is a class I cytokine receptor with homology to the IL-12 receptors and is essential for resistance to Leishmania major infection. In the present study, we demonstrated that WSX-1 was also required for resistance to Trypanosoma cruzi. WSX-1-/- mice exhibited prolonged parasitemia, severe liver injury, and increased mortality over wild-type mice. WSX-1-/- splenocytes produced enhanced levels of Th2 cytokines, which were responsible for the prolonged parasitemia. Massive necroinflammatory lesions were observed in the liver of infected WSX-1-/- mice, and IFN-gamma that was overproduced in WSX-1-/- mice compared with wild-type mice was responsible for the lesions. In addition, vast amounts of various proinflammatory cytokines, including IL-6 and TNF-alpha, were produced by liver mononuclear cells in WSX-1-/- mice. Thus, during T. cruzi infection, WSX-1 suppresses liver injury by regulating production of proinflammatory cytokines, while controlling parasitemia by suppression of Th2 responses, demonstrating its novel role as an inhibitory regulator of cytokine production.

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