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Am J Pathol. 2006 Feb;168(2):466-75.

CD8 T cells modulate CD4 T-cell and eosinophil-mediated pulmonary pathology in pneumocystis pneumonia in B-cell-deficient mice.

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Department of Veterinary Molecular Biology, Montana State University, 960 Technology Blvd., Bozeman, MT 59718, usa.


Pneumocystis spp. pneumonia (PCP) in humans and in surrogate animal species typically occurs in the absence of CD4 T cells, as takes place during acquired immune deficiency syndrome. However, patients treated with highly active anti-retroviral therapy sometimes exhibit an exacerbation of diseases such as PCP that coincides with resurgent CD4 T cells, a phenomenon known as immune reconstitution disease. We used an animal model of PCP using the B-cell-deficient muMT mouse together with antibody-mediated depletion of various T-cell subsets to examine the role of CD4 and CD8 T cells in the development of pathology in PCP. Although overt pathology occurs in the presence of CD4 T cells only, CD8 T cells only, or both, pulmonary injury occurs via different paths, depending on the complement of T cells present. Surprisingly, profound damage occurred when only CD4 T cells were present, and this pathology coincided with enhanced recruitment and activation of eosinophils and strong type 2 cytokine polarization in the alveolar environment. In addition, CD8 T cells can act to moderate this CD4 T cell-mediated pathology, possibly by increasing the ratio of putative CD25+ suppressor CD4 T cells to CD25- effector CD4 T cells.

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