T cell and antibody responses in Plasmodium falciparum malaria and their relation to disease susceptibility

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : Wenner-Grens institut för experimentell biologi

Sammanfattning: Malaria antigen-induced polarization of T cells into effectors Th1 and/or Th2 cells and their subsequent release of cytokines is known to affect antibody production. This thesis includes studies on early innate responses to the parasite, with a focus on γδT cells, and acquired specific responses in African sympatric ethnic tribes. In the last part of this thesis, a method for enrichment for the asexual blood stages of P. falciparum and their use in in vitro T-cell studies is presented.To investigate mechanisms involved in parasite growth inhibition by γδT cells, an in vitro system was set up using blood stage parasites co-cultured with differently treated γδT cells. The results showed that Vγ9/δ2+ γδT cells inhibited the in vitro growth of P. falciparum parasites whereas CD4+ and CD8+ T cells did not. This inhibition was positively correlated with the expression of cytolytic molecules in the cell lines tested. Anti-granulysin antibodies reversed γδT cell-mediated inhibition, suggesting a role for granulysin in the parasite growth inhibition. Thus, our data suggest that Vγ9/δ2+ γδT cells inhibit the parasite growth by a granulysin-exocytosis dependent cytotoxic pathway that needs perforin.To study the humoral responses and their relation to Th1/Th2 cytokine profiles, antibody levels, numbers of cytokine-producing cells and spleen rates were measured in two sympatric tribes living in Mali, the Fulani and the Dogon. Our results revealed significantly elevated malaria-specific IgG and IgE antibody levels and spleen rates in the Fulani compared to the Dogon. The Fulani exhibited elevated numbers of both IL-4 and IFN-γ-producing cells, a typical profile seen of CD1-restricted NKT cells. This together with the higher spleen rates and elevated anti-malarial antibodies suggests a role of CD1-restricted cells in the different responses seen between these tribes.To investigate whether such responses were specifically confined to malaria or a reflection of a generally activated immune system, total levels of IgG and of IgM as well as IgG antibodies to non-malarial antigens were examined in the Fulani in Burkina Faso and Mali. The results showed that the Fulani consistently mounted stronger malaria-specific IgG, IgG1, IgG3 and IgM responses. Total IgM levels were significantly higher in the Fulani than the non-Fulani, whereas total IgG did not differ between the two tribes. While IgG levels to some non-malarial antigens were significantly higher in the Fulani, no such differences were seen in the responses to several other non-malarial antigens suggesting that the Fulani are not generally hyper-reactive and that other specific factors are of importance for their higher malaria resistance.Finally, a new method to enrich for early and late asexual blood stages of P. falciparum parasite from a single parasite culture was developed, using a 3-step centrifugation procedure. Such enriched parasite fractions beside other malaria-parasite antigen preparations were used in an in vitro system to analyse T-cell responses in malaria-exposed and non-exposed donors. Such analysis revealed significant proliferative cell response and CD4+ T cell expansion to whole-cell parasite antigens, but not to acellular parasite fractions, in the malaria-exposed as compared to the non-exposed ones. Our data suggest that natural infection preferentially leads to formation of memory cells against certain antigen expressed in live parasites.Malaria antigen-induced polarization of T cells into effectors Th1 and/or Th2 cells and their subsequent release of cytokines is known to affect antibody production. This thesis includes studies on early innate responses to the parasite, with a focus on γδT cells, and acquired specific responses in African sympatric ethnic tribes. In the last part of this thesis, a method for enrichment for the asexual blood stages of P. falciparum and their use in in vitro T-cell studies is presented.To investigate mechanisms involved in parasite growth inhibition by γδT cells, an in vitro system was set up using blood stage parasites co-cultured with differently treated γδT cells. The results showed that Vγ9/δ2+ γδT cells inhibited the in vitro growth of P. falciparum parasites whereas CD4+ and CD8+ T cells did not. This inhibition was positively correlated with the expression of cytolytic molecules in the cell lines tested. Anti-granulysin antibodies reversed γδT cell-mediated inhibition, suggesting a role for granulysin in the parasite growth inhibition. Thus, our data suggest that Vγ9/δ2+ γδT cells inhibit the parasite growth by a granulysin-exocytosis dependent cytotoxic pathway that needs perforin.To study the humoral responses and their relation to Th1/Th2 cytokine profiles, antibody levels, numbers of cytokine-producing cells and spleen rates were measured in two sympatric tribes living in Mali, the Fulani and the Dogon. Our results revealed significantly elevated malaria-specific IgG and IgE antibody levels and spleen rates in the Fulani compared to the Dogon. The Fulani exhibited elevated numbers of both IL-4 and IFN-γ-producing cells, a typical profile seen of CD1-restricted NKT cells. This together with the higher spleen rates and elevated anti-malarial antibodies suggests a role of CD1-restricted cells in the different responses seen between these tribes.To investigate whether such responses were specifically confined to malaria or a reflection of a generally activated immune system, total levels of IgG and of IgM as well as IgG antibodies to non-malarial antigens were examined in the Fulani in Burkina Faso and Mali. The results showed that the Fulani consistently mounted stronger malaria-specific IgG, IgG1, IgG3 and IgM responses. Total IgM levels were significantly higher in the Fulani than the non-Fulani, whereas total IgG did not differ between the two tribes. While IgG levels to some non-malarial antigens were significantly higher in the Fulani, no such differences were seen in the responses to several other non-malarial antigens suggesting that the Fulani are not generally hyper-reactive and that other specific factors are of importance for their higher malaria resistance.Finally, a new method to enrich for early and late asexual blood stages of P. falciparum parasite from a single parasite culture was developed, using a 3-step centrifugation procedure. Such enriched parasite fractions beside other malaria-parasite antigen preparations were used in an in vitro system to analyse T-cell responses in malaria-exposed and non-exposed donors. Such analysis revealed significant proliferative cell response and CD4+ T cell expansion to whole-cell parasite antigens, but not to acellular parasite fractions, in the malaria-exposed as compared to the non-exposed ones. Our data suggest that natural infection preferentially leads to formation of memory cells against certain antigen expressed in live parasites.Malaria antigen-induced polarization of T cells into effectors Th1 and/or Th2 cells and their subsequent release of cytokines is known to affect antibody production. This thesis includes studies on early innate responses to the parasite, with a focus on γδT cells, and acquired specific responses in African sympatric ethnic tribes. In the last part of this thesis, a method for enrichment for the asexual blood stages of P. falciparum and their use in in vitro T-cell studies is presented.To investigate mechanisms involved in parasite growth inhibition by γδT cells, an in vitro system was set up using blood stage parasites co-cultured with differently treated γδT cells. The results showed that Vγ9/δ2+ γδT cells inhibited the in vitro growth of P. falciparum parasites whereas CD4+ and CD8+ T cells did not. This inhibition was positively correlated with the expression of cytolytic molecules in the cell lines tested. Anti-granulysin antibodies reversed γδT cell-mediated inhibition, suggesting a role for granulysin in the parasite growth inhibition. Thus, our data suggest that Vγ9/δ2+ γδT cells inhibit the parasite growth by a granulysin-exocytosis dependent cytotoxic pathway that needs perforin.To study the humoral responses and their relation to Th1/Th2 cytokine profiles, antibody levels, numbers of cytokine-producing cells and spleen rates were measured in two sympatric tribes living in Mali, the Fulani and the Dogon. Our results revealed significantly elevated malaria-specific IgG and IgE antibody levels and spleen rates in the Fulani compared to the Dogon. The Fulani exhibited elevated numbers of both IL-4 and IFN-γ-producing cells, a typical profile seen of CD1-restricted NKT cells. This together with the higher spleen rates and elevated anti-malarial antibodies suggests a role of CD1-restricted cells in the different responses seen between these tribes.To investigate whether such responses were specifically confined to malaria or a reflection of a generally activated immune system, total levels of IgG and of IgM as well as IgG antibodies to non-malarial antigens were examined in the Fulani in Burkina Faso and Mali. The results showed that the Fulani consistently mounted stronger malaria-specific IgG, IgG1, IgG3 and IgM responses. Total IgM levels were significantly higher in the Fulani than the non-Fulani, whereas total IgG did not differ between the two tribes. While IgG levels to some non-malarial antigens were significantly higher in the Fulani, no such differences were seen in the responses to several other non-malarial antigens suggesting that the Fulani are not generally hyper-reactive and that other specific factors are of importance for their higher malaria resistance.Finally, a new method to enrich for early and late asexual blood stages of P. falciparum parasite from a single parasite culture was developed, using a 3-step centrifugation procedure. Such enriched parasite fractions beside other malaria-parasite antigen preparations were used in an in vitro system to analyse T-cell responses in malaria-exposed and non-exposed donors. Such analysis revealed significant proliferative cell response and CD4+ T cell expansion to whole-cell parasite antigens, but not to acellular parasite fractions, in the malaria-exposed as compared to the non-exposed ones. Our data suggest that natural infection preferentially leads to formation of memory cells against certain antigen expressed in live parasites.

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