Affordable Access

During Trypanosoma cruzi Infection CD1d-Restricted NK T Cells Limit Parasitemia and Augment the Antibody Response to a Glycophosphoinositol-Modified Surface Protein

American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
  • Fungal And Parasitic Infections
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Trypanosoma cruzi is a protozoan parasite that chronically infects many mammalian species and in humans causes Chagas’ disease, a chronic inflammatory disease. The parasite expresses glycophosphoinositol (GPI), which potently stimulates interleukin 12 (IL-12) production. During T. cruzi infection IL-12, and possibly GPI, might stimulate NK T cells to affect the protective and chronic inflammatory responses. Here we report that during T. cruzi infection CD1d-restricted NK T cells are stimulated as NK T-cell-deficient mice have greater parasitemia. Furthermore, during T. cruzi infection the percentages of NK T cells in the liver and spleen become decreased for prolonged periods of time, and in vitro stimulation of NK T cells derived from livers of chronically infected mice, compared to uninfected mice, results in increased gamma interferon and IL-4 secretion. Moreover, in NK T-cell-deficient mice the chronic-phase antibody response to a GPI-modified surface protein is decreased. These results indicate that, during the acute infection, NK T cells limit parasitemia and that, during the chronic phase, NK T cells augment the antibody response. Thus, during T. cruzi infection the quality of an individual’s NK T-cell response can affect the level of parasitemia and parasite tissue burden, the intensity of the chronic inflammatory responses, and possibly the outcome of Chagas’ disease.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.


Seen <100 times