Cytokine Production of CD8+ Immune T Cells but Not of CD4+ T Cells From Toxoplasma Gondii-Infected Mice Is Polarized to a Type 1 Response Following Stimulation With Tachyzoite-Infected Macrophages

J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2006 Nov;26(11):787-92. doi: 10.1089/jir.2006.26.787.


To examine whether cytokine production of CD4(+)immune T cells and CD8(+)immune T cells in Toxoplasma gondii-infected mice differ in their responses to infected cells and to soluble antigens of the parasite, we compared the production of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-4, and IL-10 by the immune T cell populations following in vitro stimulation with tachyzoite-infected macrophages and tachyzoite lysate antigens (TLA). Both CD4(+)and CD8(+)immune T cells produced large amounts of IFN-gamma in response to either infected macrophages or TLA, but the CD4(+)T cells produced greater amounts of the cytokine than did the CD8(+)T cells with both stimulations. Both T cell populations also produced IL-2 after stimulation with infected macrophages, whereas only CD4(+)T cells did when stimulated with TLA. CD4(+)immune T cells also produced large amounts of IL-4 and IL-10 after stimulation with infected macrophages, but CD8(+)T cells did not. These results indicate that CD4(+)immune T cells produce IFN-gamma, IL-2, IL-4, and IL-10 in response to infected macrophages, whereas CD8(+)immune T cells produce predominantly IFN-gamma and IL-2. Since IL-4 and IL-10 could suppress IFN-gamma-mediated protective mechanisms against the parasite, the production of these cytokines by CD4(+)immune T cells in response to infected cells could negatively affect their protective activity in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / parasitology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Female
  • Macrophages, Peritoneal / immunology*
  • Macrophages, Peritoneal / parasitology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Th1 Cells / parasitology
  • Toxoplasma / immunology*
  • Toxoplasmosis / immunology*


  • Cytokines