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Life Sci. 2005 Sep 2;77(16):1945-59.

Deficient control of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in C57BL/6 mice is related to a delayed specific IgG response and increased macrophage production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

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Instituto de Inmunologia, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas de Rosario, Santa Fe 3100, Rosario (2000), Argentina.


Earlier work in Trypanosoma cruzi-infected C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice revealed an acute disease, of lethal outcome in the former group and lesser severity in BALB/c mice. Fatal course was not accompanied by an increased parasite load, but by a substantial imbalance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine serum levels. To better characterise the mechanisms allowing the host to restrain the infection, we have now studied the specific IgG production and in vitro behaviour of peritoneal macrophages (PMs) when exposed to T. cruzi. BALC/c mice displayed higher serum levels of specific immunoglobulins in the first weeks of acute infection. In vitro infected PMs showed no between-group differences in the number of intracellular parasites, although TNFalpha levels were significantly higher in culture supernatants from C57BL/6 mice. Because an LPS-based pretreatment (desensitisation protocol followed by a sublethal LPS dose) reduced disease severity of C57BL/6 mice, we next explored the features of the in vitro infection in PMs from mice subjected to such protocol. PMs from LPS-pretreated mice had a decreased production of TNFalpha and IL-1beta, becoming more permissive to parasite replication. It is concluded that deficient control of T. cruzi infection in C57BL/6 mice may also involve a less satisfactory specific IgG response and increased TNFalpha production by PMs. Improved disease outcome in LPS-pretreated mice may be associated with the reduced inflammatory cytokine production by PMs, but the impaired ability of these cells to control parasite growth suggests that compensatory mechanisms are operating in the in vivo situation.

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