Author(s): Williams ME, Caspar P, Oswald I, Sharma HK, Pankewycz O,
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Abstract C57BL/6 mice immunized intradermally (i.d.) with bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG) plus killed skin-stage schistosomula are protected against subsequent infection with Schistosoma mansoni, whereas immunization by i.v. or i.m. routes is not protective. Moreover, previous immunization via the nonprotective i.v. route interfered with the ability to subsequently induce protection by i.d. vaccination, suggesting that inhibitory responses are invoked. Given the evidence that activated macrophages (M phi) play a role as effector cells in protection against schistosomiasis, we investigated the ability of spleen cells from protected and nonprotected immunized mice to produce M phi activating and deactivating cytokines. Exposure to supernatant fluids (SNs) from Ag stimulated spleen cells of i.d., but not i.v. or i.m., immunized mice activated inflammatory M phi for in vitro killing of schistosome larvae, through a mechanism dependent on both IFN gamma and TNF-alpha. No evidence was observed for the preferential induction of the M phi activating Th1 cytokines IFN-gamma and IL-2 in i.d. immunized mice, nor did spleen cells from nonprotected animals produce higher levels of the Th2 associated cytokines IL-4 and IL-10, which are known to prevent M phi activation. TGF-beta was, however, detected in SNs from unprotected mice. Moreover, the M phi inhibitory activity detected in these SNs was heat stable and neutralized by anti-TGF-beta Abs, suggesting that production of TGF-beta is at least partially responsible for the failure of i.m. and i.v. immunized mice to develop immunity to S. mansoni. Thus, the induction of down-regulatory cytokines may be an important factor limiting the efficacy of certain vaccination protocols.
This article was published in J Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination