T cell-derived cytokines associated with pulmonary immune mechanisms in mice vaccinated with irradiated cercariae of Schistosoma mansoni

L E Smythies, R M Pemberton, P S Coulson, A P Mountford, R A Wilson

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In C57Bl/6 strain mice vaccinated with attenuated cercariae of Schistosoma mansoni, the major site of immune elimination of normal challenge parasites is the lungs. The immune effector mechanism involves formation of focal inflammatory responses; the abundance of CD4+ T cells and the activation of alveolar macrophages suggests a role for inflammatory cytokines. We report the profile of cytokines produced by cultures of leukocytes recovered by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) from the lungs of vaccinated and challenged mice. From 14 days after vaccination, BAL cultures contained infiltrating lymphocytes that produced abundant quantities of IFN-gamma and IL-3 on stimulation with larval Ag. Production declined from day 21 although the infiltrate of lymphocytes persisted. Challenge of vaccinated mice resulted in a second influx of IFN-gamma and IL-3-producing cells, earlier than after vaccination or in the appropriate controls. Ablation studies revealed that CD4+ T cells were essential for the production of IFN-gamma. The timing of cytokine production after vaccination, and challenge was coincident with the phases of macrophage activation previously reported. At no time could lymphocytes in BAL cultures be stimulated to proliferate with either larval Ag or mitogen, in contrast to splenocytes from the same mice. Furthermore, T cell growth factor activity was not detected in BAL cultures stimulated with Ag. We suggest that the lymphocytes recruited to the lungs are memory/effector cells. When Ag released from challenge schistosomula is presented to these cells, they respond by secreting cytokines that mediate the formation of cellular aggregates around the parasites, blocking their onward migration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1512-8
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • Animals
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid
  • Female
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Interleukin-2
  • Interleukin-3
  • Lung
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Schistosoma mansoni
  • Schistosomiasis mansoni
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Vaccination

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