Immune response to a major Trypanosoma cruzi antigen, cruzipain, is differentially modulated in C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice

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Guinazu, N.
Pellegrini, A.
Giordanengo, L.
Aoki, M. P.
Rivarola, H. W.
Cano, R.
Rodrigues, M. M.
Gea, S.
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BALB/c mice immunized with cruzipain, a major Trypanosoma cruzi antigen, produce specific and autoreactive immune responses against heart myosin, associated with cardiac functional and structural abnormalities. Preferential activation of the Th2 phenotype and an increase in cell populations expressing CD19(+), Mac-1(+) and Gr-1(+) markers were found in the spleens of these mice. the aim of the present study was to investigate whether cardiac autoimmunity could be induced by cruzipain immunization of C57BL/6 mice and to compare the immune response elicited with that of BALB/c mice. We demonstrate that immune C57BL/6 splenocytes, re-stimulated in vitro with cruzipain, produced high levels of IFNgamma and low levels of IL-4 compatible with a Th1 profile. in contrast to BALB/c mice, spleens from cruzipain immune C57BL/6 mice revealed no significant changes in the number of cells presenting CD19(+), Mac-1(+) and Gr-1(+) markers. An increased secretion of TGFbeta and a greater number of CD4(+)TGFbeta(+) cells were found in immune C57BL/6 but not in BALB/c mice. These findings were associated with the lack of autoreactive response against heart myosin and a myosin- or cruzipain-derived peptide. Thus, the differential immune response elicited in C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice upon cruzipain immunization is implicated in the resistance or pathogenesis of experimental Chagas' disease. (C) 2004 Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.
Microbes and Infection. Amsterdam: Elsevier B.V., v. 6, n. 14, p. 1250-1258, 2004.