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Eur J Immunol. 1998 Apr;28(4):1408-16.

Type 1 and type 2 cytokine-producing mouse CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in acute Schistosoma mansoni infection.

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Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, GB.


CD4+ and CD8+ T cells can be divided based on the cytokines that they secrete into type 1 (Th1, Tc1) and type 2 (Th2, Tc2) subsets. Schistosoma mansoni infection in mice is characterized by a type 2-dominated response. We have used intracellular cytokine staining to demonstrate dramatic changes in the relative numbers of Tc1 and Th2 cells in the spleens of mice during acute schistosome infection. In infected mice prior to egg laying a generalized type 1 response dominated, and was associated with an expansion in the frequency of Tc1 and Th1 cells. By week 7 after infection the cytokine response was of type 2, with an increase in the numbers of Th2 cells and a dramatic reduction in the frequency of Tc1 cells. Following the onset of egg laying there was apoptosis of cells in the spleens of mice, with CD4+ and in particular CD8+ T cells undergoing apoptosis. The loss of CD8+ T cells may in part be attributable to the development of a type 2 environment, following egg laying, with type 2 responses mediating the apoptosis of Tc1 cells. Schistosome regulation of Tc1 during egg laying may be required to prevent type 1 inflammatory responses from exacerbating egg-induced pathology.

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