Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 10632672
Clin. Exp. Immunol. 2000 Feb;119(2):333-9
We have previously observed that aged lupus-prone (NZB/NZW)Fl (BWF1) mice when infected with Plasmodium chabaudi show an improvement in their clinical lupus-like symptoms. In order to study the mechanisms involved in the long-lasting protective effect of the P. chabaudi infection in lupus-prone mice we analysed specific aspects of the cellular response, namely the profiles of cytokine mRNA expression and cytokine secretion levels in old BWF1 mice, in comparison with uninfected age-matched BWF1 mice and infected or uninfected BALB/c mice. Two months after infection, cells from BWF1 mice were stimulated with concanavalin A (Con A) and demonstrated a recovery of T cell responsiveness that reached the levels obtained with BALB/c cells. Old BWF1 mice showed high levels of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and IL-5 production and correspondingly low levels of IL-2 and IL-4 secretion before infection with P. chabaudi. Infection did not modify the IFN-gamma levels of BWF1 T cells, whereas it considerably increased the secretion of the Th2-related cytokines IL-4, IL-5 and IL-10. In addition, only BWF1 T cells showed increased mRNA expression of tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta). This counter-regulatory cytokine network of infected BWF1 mice may be involved in the improvement of their lupus symptoms. The results of our investigations using the complex model of P. chabaudi infection can be extended and, by using more restricted approaches, it may be possible to explain the multiple regulatory defects of lupus-prone mice.