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Immunology. 1980 Oct;41(2):421-30.

The role of the liver in immunity to blood-stage murine malaria.


Mice vaccinated with fixed parasitized red blood cells and Bordetella pertussis can clear an otherwise lethal Plasmodium yoelii infection in 7 days; this protection is abolished by splenectomy before vaccination. Most mice splenectomized following vaccination were able to clear their infections, although their recovery was delayed. When labelled parasitized red cells were injected into mice during an infection, splenic uptake fell from day 3 onwards while uptake by the liver increased. Lymphocytes (mainly T cells) formed the majority of the live cells extracted from livers 7 days after infection, although blasts and myeloid cells were also present. Infected livers from vaccinated mice contained most cells. Less marked increases were observed 7 days after P. berghei infection of vaccinated mice. Examination of liver tissue showed that the sinusoids contained increased numbers of cells and suggested that activation of Kupffer cells was occurring, particularly in vaccinated mice infected with P. yoelii. Homing experiments confirmed the increased trapping of various cells in livers of vaccinated mice infected with P. yoelii. These results suggest an important role for the liver in recovery from blood-stage malaria infection.

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