Long term protection after immunization with P. berghei sporozoites correlates with sustained IFNgamma responses of hepatic CD8+ memory T cells.
SourcePLoS One, 7, 5, (2012), article e36508
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectN4i 3: Poverty-related infectious diseases NCMLS 1: Infection and autoimmunity
Protection against P. berghei malaria can successfully be induced in mice by immunization with both radiation attenuated sporozoites (RAS) arresting early during liver stage development, or sporozoites combined with chloroquine chemoprophylaxis (CPS), resulting in complete intra-hepatic parasite development before killing of blood-stages by chloroquine takes place. We assessed the longevity of protective cellular immune responses by RAS and CPS P. berghei immunization of C57BL/6j mice. Strong effector and memory (T(EM)) CD8+ T cell responses were induced predominantly in the liver of both RAS and CPS immunized mice while CD4+ T cells with memory phenotype remained at base line levels. Compared to unprotected naive mice, we found high sporozoite-specific IFNgamma ex vivo responses that associated with induced levels of in vivo CD8+ T(EM) cells in the liver but not spleen. Long term evaluation over a period of 9 months showed a decline of malaria-specific IFNgamma responses in RAS and CPS mice that significantly correlated with loss of protection (r(2) = 0.60, p<0.0001). The reducing IFNgamma response by hepatic memory CD8+ T cells could be boosted by re-exposure to wild-type sporozoites. Our data show that sustainable protection against malaria associates with distinct intra-hepatic immune responses characterized by strong IFNgamma producing CD8+ memory T cells.
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