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Immunol Rev. 1989 Dec;112:49-70.

Tumor-necrosis factor and other cytokines in cerebral malaria: experimental and clinical data.

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Department of Pathology, University of Geneva, Switzerland.


Evidence is presented here that tumor necrosis factor/cachectin (TNF), is of crucial importance in the pathogenesis of cerebral malaria. First, the central lesion of CM, hemorrhagic necrosis of cerebral vessels, corresponds to lesions observed during other pathological conditions associated with high serum TNF levels, such as endotoxemic shock or administration of TNF. Second, in both mouse and human, there is a close correlation between high serum TNF levels and CM. At least in mouse, high TNF levels and CM depend upon T lymphocytes of the CD4+ phenotype. Third, passive immunization against mouse TNF significantly prolongs the survival of P. berghei-infected CBA/Ca mice, and prevents the development of neurologic signs. Treatment with the anti-TNF antibody also prevents hemorrhagic necrosis of brain vessels. Fourth, in the mouse model, a cytokine cascade including at least GM-CSF, IL-3 and IFN-gamma is required for the elevation of TNF level. This cascade appears to involve two components: (a) a quantitative component: increased accumulation of macrophages results from the concomitant release of IL-3 and GM-CSF, and (b) a qualitative component: macrophage number has not only to be raised, but macrophages need to be activated by IFN-gamma. Fifth, metabolic parameters of CM and its main lesion in both mouse and human, i.e. the hemorrhagic necrosis of small brain vessels, correspond to the known properties of TNF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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