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Scand J Immunol. 1995 Dec;42(6):626-36.

Adhesion of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes to human cells and secretion of cytokines (IL-1-beta, IL-1RA, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TGF beta, TNF alpha, G-CSF, GM-CSF.

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Department of Molecular Biology, DNAX Research Institute of Cellular and Molecular Biology Inc., Palo Alto, CA, USA.


The scientific interest in the physical interaction of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes with host cells stems from the suggestion that excessive binding in the microvasculature leads to severe malaria. The authors studied, therefore, two parasites for their ability to adhere to normal human cells and to induce cytokine production, one parasite lacking a binding capacity (DD2) and one which adhered to CD36+ transfected CHO cells (MCAMP). The MCAMP parasites readily bound to platelets and erythrocytes and to monocytes, polymorphonuclear granulocytes and EBV-transformed B cells as seen by light and electron microscopy. Platelets were frequently attached in large numbers to the infected erythrocyte surface and groups of infected erythrocytes were sometimes held together by several platelets. Nine out of 17 cytokines tested were found to be secreted into the culture supernatants after 35 h of co-cultures containing monocytes or unfractionated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and parasites (IL-1RA, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TGF beta, TNF alpha, G-CSF, IL-1-beta, and GM-CSF). Three additional cytokines were also present in low levels (< 200 pg/ml, IL-2, IL-4, IFN gamma) in the culture supernatants after incubation of the cells for 4 days. TNF alpha, IL-RA, and IL-8 were secreted from polymorphonuclear granulocytes, LGLs and T cells. Platelets and, to a lesser degree, monocytes and T cells secreted large amounts of TGF beta (10-30 ng/ml). Cytokines may participate in the pathogenesis but also the suppression of immune responses seen during acute malarial infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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