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Methods Mol Biol. 2015;1325:19-37. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-2815-6_2.

Measurement of the T Cell Response to Preerythrocytic Vaccination in Mice.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma, OK, 73104, USA.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Biomedical Sciences Building, Room 1035, 940 Stanton L. Young Blvd., Oklahoma, OK, 73104, USA.


Whole attenuated parasite vaccines designed to elicit immunity against the clinically silent preerythrocytic stage of Plasmodium infection represent the most efficacious experimental platforms currently in clinical trial. Studies in rodents and humans show that T cells mediate vaccine-induced protection. Thus, determining the quantitative and qualitative properties of these T cells remains a major research focus. Most rodent models of preerythrocytic anti-Plasmodium vaccination focus on circumsporozoite-specific CD8 T cell responses in BALB/c mice. However, CD4 T cells and non-circumsporozoite-specific CD8 T cells also significantly contribute to protection. Here we describe alternative approaches that enable detection and functional characterization of total CD8 and CD4 T cell responses induced by preerythrocytic vaccination in mice. These flow cytometry-based approaches rely on monitoring the modulation of expressed integrins and co-receptors on the surface of T cells in vaccinated mice. The approaches enable direct determination of the magnitude, kinetics, distribution, phenotype, and functional features of T cell responses induced by infection or whole-parasite vaccination using any mouse-parasite species combination.


CD4 T cell; CD8 T cell; Genetically attenuated parasite; Integrins; Malaria; Plasmodium; Radiation attenuated sporozoite; Vaccine

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