Murine malaria: dissociation of natural killer (NK) cell activity and resistance to Plasmodium chabaudi

Parasite Immunol. 1983 Nov;5(6):557-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3024.1983.tb00772.x.


Striking differences in the resistance to P. chabaudi infection among different inbred mouse strains have previously been correlated with the level of both the spontaneous and the infection-induced enhanced level of NK cell activity. We have examined this putative correlation in individual animals of backcross progeny derived from A/J (malaria-susceptible, low NK cell activity) and B10.A (malaria-resistant, high NK cell activity) progenitors. We have found that NK cell activity and resistance to malaria segregated independently. Furthermore, C57BL/6-bg/bg mice which are deficient in NK cell activity were found to be as resistant to malaria as their heterozygous C57BL/6-bg/+siblings. We conclude that low NK cell activity, characteristic of A/J strain mice, is not a sufficient determinant of the exquisite susceptibility of these animals to infection with Plasmodium chabaudi.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Malaria / genetics
  • Malaria / immunology
  • Malaria / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL / genetics
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL / immunology
  • Mice, Inbred Strains / genetics
  • Mice, Inbred Strains / immunology*
  • Mice, Mutant Strains / genetics
  • Mice, Mutant Strains / immunology*
  • Rodent Diseases / genetics
  • Rodent Diseases / immunology*