Partial depletion of CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) T regulatory cells significantly increases morbidity during acute phase Toxoplasma gondii infection in resistant BALB/c mice

Microbes Infect. 2011 Apr;13(4):394-404. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2011.01.006. Epub 2011 Jan 22.


CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) T regulatory (Treg) cells, are known to regulate responses to infectious agents. Here we compared disease progression in BALB/c and C57BL/6(B6) mice infected perorally with Toxoplasma gondii for 7 days and examined the affect of partial depletion of Treg cells in these mice. BALB/c mice were seen to be resistant to peroral infection whereas B6 mice were susceptible in terms of mortality. Although the depletion of Treg cells before infection had no effect on the survival of B6 or BALB/c mice, it resulted in increased parasite burdens in BALB/c mice, especially in the lamina propria, but not in B6 mice. Pro-inflammatory cytokines were also increased in Treg cells depleted BALB/c mice as compared to B6 mice. In addition Treg cell depleted BALB/c mice displayed increased ileal histopathology compared to their non-treated counterparts. These findings provide evidence for the contribution of Treg cells, in the resistance of BALB/c mice against peroral T. gondii infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antigens, CD / immunology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Ileum / immunology
  • Ileum / pathology
  • Lymphocyte Depletion*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • Toxoplasma / immunology
  • Toxoplasmosis / immunology*
  • Toxoplasmosis / pathology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD
  • Cytokines