Mice deficient in interleukin-4 (IL-4) or IL-4 receptor alpha have higher resistance to sporozoite infection with Plasmodium berghei (ANKA) than do naive wild-type mice

Saeftel, Michael; Krueger, Andreas; Arriens, Sandra; Heussler, Volker; Racz, Paul; Fleischer, Bernhard; Brombacher, Frank; Hoerauf, Achim (2004). Mice deficient in interleukin-4 (IL-4) or IL-4 receptor alpha have higher resistance to sporozoite infection with Plasmodium berghei (ANKA) than do naive wild-type mice. Infection and immunity, 72(1), pp. 322-331. American Society for Microbiology

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BALB/c interleukin-4 (IL-4(-/-)) or IL-4 receptor-alpha (IL-4ralpha(-/-)) knockout (KO) mice were used to assess the roles of the IL-4 and IL-13 pathways during infections with the blood or liver stages of plasmodium in murine malaria. Intraperitoneal infection with the blood-stage erythrocytes of Plasmodium berghei (ANKA) resulted in 100% mortality within 24 days in BALB/c mice, as well as in the mutant mouse strains. However, when infected intravenously with the sporozoite liver stage, 60 to 80% of IL-4(-/-) and IL-4ralpha(-/-) mice survived, whereas all BALB/c mice succumbed with high parasitemia. Compared to infected BALB/c controls, the surviving KO mice showed increased NK cell numbers and expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in the liver and were able to eliminate parasites early during infection. In vivo blockade of NO resulted in 100% mortality of sporozoite-infected KO mice. In vivo depletion of NK cells also resulted in 80 to 100% mortality, with a significant reduction in gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) production in the liver. These results suggest that IFN-gamma-producing NK cells are critical in host resistance against the sporozoite liver stage by inducing NO production, an effective killing effector molecule against Plasmodium. The absence of IL-4-mediated functions increases the protective innate immune mechanism identified above, which results in immunity against P. berghei infection in these mice, with no major role for IL-13.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Cell Biology > Malaria
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Cell Biology

UniBE Contributor:

Heussler, Volker

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

0019-9567

Publisher:

American Society for Microbiology

Language:

English

Submitter:

Volker Heussler

Date Deposited:

06 Jul 2016 11:13

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2016 04:35

PubMed ID:

14688111

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.84071

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/84071

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