Author(s): Amit P, Prasad KN, Kumar GR, Shweta T, Sanjeev J
The immunopathogenesis of neurocysticercosis (NCC) largely remains unknown. We analyzed the immune response to different fractions of Taenia solium cyst fluid antigens in patients with NCC. Lymphocytes were separated from 48 patients with NCC-related active epilepsy and 30 healthy controls. T. solium (isolated from pig muscles) antigens (crude lysate, CL; cyst wall, CW and cyst fluid, CF) at 20 μg/well concentrations were used to stimulate the cells in a lymphocyte transformation test (LTT). Only CF antigen stimulated cell proliferation significantly greater than control (p<0.001), hence cyst fluid antigens were further studied. The CF antigens were electro-blotted on nitrocellulose membrane (NC), cut at 0.5 cm distance and particulate antigens were prepared. A total of 12 fractions, designated F1 to F12 according to molecular weight were tested in-vitro for LTT. After 72 h of stimulation by the different fractions, Th1 (IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-2) and Th2 (IL-4, IL-10) cytokine responses were determined in culture supernatants by ELISA. Low molecular weight fractions F1 through F4 (Mol. wt.<25 kDa) were found to be potent inducers of cytokines. Fractions F1, F3 and F4 induced the production of Th1 (IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-2), whereas F2 induced the production of Th2 (IL-4 and IL-10) cytokine. The study shows that the low molecular weight fractions of CF antigens are immuno-dominant. Most of these fractions (F1, F3, F4) induce strong Th1 immune response except F2 which induces Th2 response. Further studies are needed to identify the different antigens present in these fractions to determine the molecules responsible for the immune response.