Cytokine profiles for human V gamma 9+ T cells stimulated by Plasmodium falciparum

Parasite Immunol. 1995 Aug;17(8):413-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3024.1995.tb00909.x.


V gamma 9+ T cells from malaria non-exposed donors make proliferative responses to Plasmodium falciparum on in vitro stimulation. V gamma 9+ cells are strongly activated by components of the schizont stage of the parasite and by antigens released into the culture upon schizogony, while CD4+V gamma 9- cells are stimulated by the earlier stages of the parasite. Using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) we determined mRNA expression for 14 cytokines in highly purified V gamma 9+ cells enriched by positive selection after in vitro stimulation with P. falciparum schizont antigens. Interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) were detected in all samples tested. The majority of samples also expressed TNF-beta, transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and Interleukin-8 (IL-8). Only occasional samples expressed IL-2, IL-5 and IL-10. Using the ELISPOT assay we found that a large fraction of the reactive V gamma 9+ cells produced IFN-gamma and that gamma delta T cells are the major producers of IFN-gamma in cultures stimulated with schizont antigens. The majority of V gamma 9+ cells in these cultures also express the membrane-bound form of TNF-alpha. Expression of these cytokines speaks for a cytolytic and/or inflammatory role of gamma delta cells in the response to malaria in non-exposed individuals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Protozoan / immunology
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis*
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / immunology*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / analysis*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism


  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • Cytokines
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta
  • Interferon-gamma