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Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:632436. doi: 10.1155/2013/632436. Epub 2012 Dec 26.

CD4+ CD25+ FOXP3+ Treg cells induced by rSSP4 derived from T. cruzi amastigotes increase parasitemia in an experimental Chagas disease model.

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Departamento de Infectómica y Patogénesis Molecular, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, 07360 Mexico, DF, Mexico.


Currently, there is a considerable controversy over the participation of Treg cells during Trypanosoma cruzi infection, the main point being whether these cells play a negative or a positive role. In this work, we found that the adoptive transfer of CD4(+)CD25(+)FOXP3(+) T cells from rSSP4- (a recombinant Trypanosoma cruzi amastigote derived protein, previously shown to have immunomodulatory properties on macrophages) immunized BALB/c donors into syngenic recipients simultaneously with T. cruzi challenge reduces cardiac inflammation and prolongs hosts' survival but increases blood parasitemia and parasite loads in the heart. These CD4(+)CD25(+)FOXP3(+) Treg cells from immunized mice have a relatively TGF-β-dependent suppressive activity on CD4(+) T cells. Therefore, regulatory CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells play a positive role in the development of acute T. cruzi infection by inducing immunosuppressive activity that controls early cardiac inflammation during acute Chagas disease, prolonging survival, but at the same time promoting parasite growth.

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