CD8 T-cell-mediated protection against liver-stage malaria: Lessons from a mouse model

Department of Microbiology, University of Iowa Iowa, IA, USA
Frontiers in Microbiology (Impact Factor: 3.99). 06/2014; 5:272. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00272
Source: PubMed


Malaria is a major global health problem, with severe mortality in children living in sub-Saharan Africa, and there is currently no licensed, effective vaccine. However, vaccine-induced protection from Plasmodium infection, the causative agent of malaria, was established for humans in small clinical trials and for rodents in the 1960s. Soon after, a critical role for memory CD8 T cells in vaccine-induced protection against Plasmodium liver-stage infection was established in rodent models and is assumed to apply to humans. However, these seminal early studies have led to only modest advances over the ensuing years in our understanding the basic features of memory CD8 T cells required for protection against liver-stage Plasmodium infection, an issue which has likely impeded the development of effective vaccines for humans. Given the ethical and practical limitations in gaining mechanistic insight from human vaccine and challenge studies, animal models still have an important role in dissecting the basic parameters underlying memory CD8 T-cell immunity to Plasmodium. Here, we will highlight recent data from our own work in the mouse model of Plasmodium infection that identify quantitative and qualitative features of protective memory CD8 T-cell responses. Finally, these lessons will be discussed in the context of recent findings from clinical trials of vaccine-induced protection in controlled human challenge models.

1 Follower
12 Reads
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Although recent control measures have significantly reduced malaria cases and deaths in many endemic areas, an effective vaccine will be essential to eradicate this parasitic disease. Malaria vaccine strategies developed to date focus on different phases of the parasite's complex life cycle in the human host and mosquito vector, and include both subunit-based and whole-parasite vaccines. This review focuses on the three live-attenuated malaria vaccination strategies that have been tested in humans to date, and discusses their progress, challenges and the immune correlates of protection that have been identified.
    Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics 10/2014; 10(10). DOI:10.4161/21645515.2014.972764 · 2.37 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Multiple immunizations using live irradiated sporozoites, the infectious plasmodial stage delivered into the host skin during a mosquito bite, can elicit sterile immunity to malaria. CD8+ T cells seem to play an essential role in this protective immunity, since their depletion consistently abolishes sterilizing protection in several experimental models. So far, only a few parasite antigens are known to induce CD8+ T cell-dependent protection, but none of them can reach the levels of protection afforded by live attenuated parasites. Systematic attempts to identify novel antigens associated with this efficient cellular protection were so far unsuccessful. In addition, the precise mechanisms involved in the recognition and elimination of parasitized hepatocytes in vivo by CD8+ T cells still remain obscure. Recently, it has been shown that specific effector CD8+ T cells, after recognition of parasitized hepatocytes, recruit specific and non-specific activated CD8+ T cells to the site of infection, resulting in the formation of cellular clusters around and in the further elimination of intracellular parasites. The significance of this finding is discussed in the perspective of a general mechanism of antigen-dependent focalized inflammation and its consequences for the elimination of malaria liver stages.
    Frontiers in Microbiology 02/2015; 6. DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2015.00047 · 3.99 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: During the pre-erythrocytic asymptomatic phase of malarial infection, sporozoites develop transiently inside less than 100 hepatocytes that subsequently release thousands of merozoites. Killing of these hepatocytes by cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) confers protection to subsequent malarial infection, suggesting that this bottleneck phase in the parasite life cycle can be targeted by vaccination. During natural transmission, although some CTLs are generated in the skin draining lymph nodes, they are unable to eliminate the parasite, suggesting that the liver is important for the sporozoite to escape immune surveillance. The contribution of the organ to this process is unclear. Based on the known ability of several hepatic antigen-presenting cells (APCs) to induce primary activation of CD8 T cells and tolerance, malarial antigens presented by both infected hepatocytes and/or hepatic cross-presenting APCs should result in tolerance. However, our latest model predicts that due to the low frequency of infected hepatocytes, some T cells recognizing sporozoite epitopes with high affinity should differentiate into CTLs. In this review, we discuss two possible models to explain why CTLs generated in the liver and skin draining lymph nodes are unable to eliminate the parasite: 1) sporozoites harness the tolerogenic property of the liver; 2) CTLs are not tolerized but fail to detect infected cells due to sparse infection of hepatocytes and the very short liver stage. We propose that while malaria sporozoites might use the ability of the liver to tolerize both naive and effector cells, they have also developed strategies to decrease the probability of encounter between CTLs and infected liver cells. Thus, we predict that to promote protection, vaccination strategies should aim to boost intrahepatic activation and/or increase the chance of encounter between sporozoite-specific CTLs and infected hepatocytes.
    Frontiers in Microbiology 02/2015; 6:41. DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2015.00041 · 3.99 Impact Factor
Show more

Similar Publications

Preview (2 Sources)

12 Reads
Available from