gammadelta T cells are a component of early immunity against preerythrocytic malaria parasites.
We tested the hypothesis that gammadelta T cells are a component of an early immune response directed against preerythrocytic malaria parasites that are required for the induction of an effector alphabeta T-cell immune response generated by irradiated-sporozoite (irr-spz) immunization. gammadelta T-cell-deficient (TCRdelta(-/-)) mice on a C57BL/6 background were challenged with Plasmodium yoelii (17XNL strain) sporozoites, and then liver parasite burden was measured at 42 h postchallenge. Liver parasite burden was measured by quantification of parasite-specific 18S rRNA in total liver RNA by quantitative-competitive reverse transcription-PCR and by an automated 5' exonuclease PCR. Sporozoite-challenged TCRdelta(-/-) mice showed a significant (P < 0.01) increase in liver parasite burden compared to similarly challenged immunocompetent mice. In support of this result, TCRdelta(-/-) mice were also found to be more susceptible than immunocompetent mice to a sporozoite challenge when blood-stage parasitemia was used as a readout. A greater percentage of TCRdelta(-/-) mice than of immunocompetent mice progressed to a blood-stage infection when challenged with five or fewer sporozoites (odds ratio = 2.35, P = 0.06). TCRdelta(-/-) mice receiving a single irr-spz immunization showed percent inhibition of liver parasites comparable to that of immunized immunocompetent mice following a sporozoite challenge. These data support the hypothesis that gammadelta T cells are a component of early immunity directed against malaria preerythrocytic parasites and suggest that gammadelta T cells are not required for the induction of an effector alphabeta T-cell immune response generated by irr-spz immunization.
McKenna, KC; Tsuji, M; Sarzotti, M; Sacci, JB; Witney, AA; Azad, AF
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