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Exp Parasitol. 1990 Feb;70(2):164-74.

Trypanosoma cruzi: maintenance of parasite-specific T cell responses in lymph nodes during the acute phase of the infection.

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Departamento de Imunologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Brasil.


Mice infected with 5 x 10(3) forms of Trypanosoma cruzi showed a transient, but severe impairment of in vitro spleen cell responses to parasite antigens and to Concanavalin A (Con A). In contrast, inguinal and periaortic lymph node (LN) cells displayed high parasite-specific proliferative responses and only a partial reduction of the Con A-induced proliferation during the acute and chronic phases of infection. Lymphocytes that underwent blastic transformation in T. cruzi-stimulated cell cultures were of the L3T4+ phenotype. Suppression of spleen cell responses occurred in the acute phase whether mice were infected with high (3 x 10(5] or low (5 x 10(3] doses of T. cruzi by intraperitoneal or subcutaneous route. Suppression of the T. cruzi-specific proliferative response of LN cells was only observed in mice infected with high subcutaneous inocula. This suppression, however, was restricted to the LNs draining the site of inoculation without affecting distant LNs. Supernatants from parasite-stimulated proliferating LN cells displayed low or undetectable T cell growth factor (TCGF) activity, in contrast with the high TCGF levels found in supernatants of the same cells stimulated with Con A. Low levels of TCGF were also detected in cultures of LN cells from mice immunized with T. cruzi extracts. Neither the T. cruzi antigen used for in vitro stimulation nor the LN cell supernatants from infected mice inhibited TCGF activity. These findings indicate that (1) parasite-specific responses are present in the LN compartment throughout the acute phase of T. cruzi infection in mice and (2) the proliferative response of L3T4+ LN cells from infected mice to T. cruzi antigens is not associated with a high TCGF secretory response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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