European journal of immunology

Role of TGF-beta and PGE2 in T cell responses during Plasmodium yoelii infection.

PMID 17474154


During an acute blood-stage malaria infection, T cell responses to malaria and other bystander antigens are inhibited. Plasmodium infection induces strong cytokine responses that facilitate parasite clearance but may interfere with T cell functions, as some of the soluble immune mediators induced are also general inhibitors of T cell responses. Using a malaria mouse model, we have analyzed the cytokines produced by dendritic cells in response to P. yoelii infection that have potential T cell inhibitory activity. We found that during acute infection DC migrate to the spleen and secrete TGF-beta, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and IL-10. We have analyzed the role of these general T cell inhibitors in a particular T cell response of evident importance in malaria infections: the CD8+ T cells generated against the liver-stage of the disease. During blood-stage infection, inhibition of the activity of TGF-beta and PGE2 restores the CD8+ T cell responses generated by sporozoites, increasing protection against re-infection. Our findings suggest that the strong cytokine response induced by blood-stage P. yoelii infection affects host T cell responses, inhibiting protective CD8+ T cells against the liver-stage of the disease.

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16,16-Dimethylprostaglandin E2, methyl acetate solution