[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study we evaluated the mechanisms behind the implication of the costimulatory molecule CD28 for the immune response against the intracellular protozoan parasite Trypanosma cruzi. Our results reveal a critical role for CD28 in the activation of both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and induction of the effector mechanisms that ultimately mediate the control of parasite growth and pathogenesis in infected mice. CD28-deficient (CD28-/-) mice are highly susceptible to T. cruzi infection, presenting higher parasitemia and tissue parasitism, but less inflammatory cell infiltrate in the heart than C57Bl/6 wild-type (WT) mice. All the infected WT mice survived acute infection, whereas 100% of CD28-/- mice succumbed to it. The increased susceptibility of the CD28-/- mice was associated with a dramatic decrease in the production of IFN-gamma by both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells resulting in a diminished capacity to produce nitric oxide (NO) and mediate parasite killing. T cell activation was also profoundly impaired in CD28-/- mice, which presented decreased lymphoproliferative response after the infection compared to WT mice. Together, these data represent the first evidence that CD28 is critical for efficient CD4+ T cell activation in response to T. cruzi infection in mice.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2004 · Microbes and Infection
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies have revealed an important role for CTLA-4 as a negative regulator of T cell activation. In the present study, we evaluated the importance of CTLA-4 to the immune response against the intracellular protozoan, Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas' disease. We observed that the expression of CTLA-4 in spleen cells from naive mice cultured in the presence of live trypomastigote forms of T. cruzi increases over time of exposure. Furthermore, spleen cells harvested from recently infected mice showed a significant increase in the expression of CTLA-4 when compared with spleen cells from noninfected mice. Blockage of CTLA-4 in vitro and/or in vivo did not restore the lymphoproliferative response decreased during the acute phase of infection, but it resulted in a significant increase of NO production in vivo and in vitro. Moreover, the production of IFN-gamma in response to parasite Ags was significantly increased in spleen cells from anti-CTLA-4-treated infected mice when compared with the production found in cells from IgG-treated infected mice. CTLA-4 blockade in vivo also resulted in increased resistance to infection with the Y and Colombian strains of T. cruzi. Taken together these results indicate that CTLA-4 engagement is implicated in the modulation of the immune response against T. cruzi by acting in the mechanisms that control IFN-gamma and NO production during the acute phase of the infection.
Full-text · Article · May 2004 · The Journal of Immunology