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Mol Immunol. 1993 Mar;30(4):353-8.

Vaccination of mice with the protective F3G3 antigen of Toxoplasma gondii activates CD4+ but not CD8+ T cells and induces Toxoplasma specific IgG antibody.

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Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305.


A major cytoplasmic Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) antigen recognized by monoclonal antibody F3G3 (F3G3-Ag), as well as two surface antigens recognized by monoclonal antibodies 2G11 and 1E11 respectively (2G11-Ag; 1E11-Ag), were isolated from crude Toxoplasma sonicates using affinity chromatography. Purified F3G3-Ag induced long term protection against Toxoplasma infection in mice and induced Toxoplasma specific IgG antibody. CD4+ but not CD8+ T cells from immune animals proliferated and produced IL-2 upon restimulation with either Toxoplasma sonicate or F3G3-Ag in vitro. Furthermore, CD4+ T cells from mice immunized with F3G3-Ag responded to purified 2G11- and 1E11-Ag. In contrast, CD4+ T cells from mice immunized with 2G11-Ag responded to Toxoplasma sonicate and 2G11-Ag, but not to F3G3- or 1E11-Ag. The results may indicate that the protective F3G3-Ag shares immunogenic epitopes present also on 2G11- and 1E11-Ag, since the F3G3-Ag used for the vaccination did not contain detectable amounts of 2G11- or 1E11-Ag, and none of the antigens displayed any mitogenicity. Taken together the results show that the cytoplasmic F3G3-Ag of T. gondii induces CD4+ T helper cells, Toxoplasma specific IgG antibodies and long term protection against Toxoplasma infection, but does not induce detectable sensitization of the CD8+ T cell compartment.

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