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Vaccine. 2011 Oct 6;29(43):7335-42. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.07.081. Epub 2011 Jul 30.

Identification of non-CSP antigens bearing CD8 epitopes in mice immunized with irradiated sporozoites.

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Michael Heidelberger Division, Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, NY 10016, United States.


Immunization of BALB/c mice with irradiated sporozoites (IrSp) of Plasmodium yoelii can lead to sterile immunity. The circumsporozoite protein (CSP) plays a dominant role in protection. Nevertheless after hyper-immunization with IrSp, complete protection is obtained in CSP-transgenic BALB/c mice that are T-cell tolerant to the CSP and cannot produce antibodies [CSP-Tg/JhT(-/-)]. This protection is mediated exclusively by CD8(+) T cells [1]. To identify the non-CSP protective T cell antigens, we studied the properties of 34 P. yoelii sporozoite antigens that are predicted to be secreted and to contain strong Kd-restricted CD8(+) T cell epitopes. The synthetic peptides corresponding to the epitopes were used to screen for the presence of peptide-specific CD8(+) T cells secreting interferon-γ (IFN-γ) in splenocytes from CSP-Tg/JhT(-/-) BALB/c mice hyper immunized with IrSp. However, the numbers of IFN-γ-secreting splenocytes specific for the non-CSP antigen-derived peptides were 20-100 times lower than those specific for the CSP-specific peptide. When mice were immunized with recombinant adenoviruses expressing selected non-CSP antigens, the animals were not protected against challenge with P. yoelii sporozoites although large numbers of CD8(+) specific T cells were generated.

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