Intrathecal cytokine responses in Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense sleeping sickness patients

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2006 Mar;100(3):270-5. doi: 10.1016/j.trstmh.2005.03.013. Epub 2005 Dec 15.


Intrathecal cytokine levels and blood-cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) barrier function were studied in 91 Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense-infected patients. The CSF concentration of the cellular immune activation marker neopterin and the cytokines IL-6 and IL-10 were increased over control and post-treatment levels in all patients, with maximal levels observed in late-stage (meningoencephalitic) individuals. Analysis of CSF/serum concentration quotients indicated that IL-10 and neopterin were derived from central nervous system synthesis in at least 25% of the patients. Blood-CSF barrier dysfunction occurred in 64% of late-stage patients but not in early-stage patients. While the high level of neopterin observed in the late-stage patient CSF is indicative of widespread cellular activation, the increased levels of IL-6 and IL-10 suggest that counter-inflammatory cellular responses may be important in the regulation of neuropathogenesis in late-stage human African trypanosomiasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-10 / blood
  • Interleukin-10 / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Neopterin / blood
  • Neopterin / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense*
  • Trypanosomiasis, African / blood
  • Trypanosomiasis, African / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Uganda


  • Biomarkers
  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukin-10
  • Neopterin