alpha beta and gamma delta T cells in the immune response to the erythrocytic stages of malaria in mice

Int Immunol. 1995 Jun;7(6):1005-11. doi: 10.1093/intimm/7.6.1005.


Mice lacking T cells with alpha beta TCR (TCR beta-/-) or gamma delta TCR (TCR delta-/-) were infected with the erythrocytic stages of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi (AS). Mice without gamma delta T cells could control and reduce a primary infection of P. chabaudi with a slight delay in the time of clearance of the acute phase of infection and significantly higher recrudescent parasitaemias compared with control intact mice. TCR delta -/- mice had higher levels of both serum Ig and malaria-specific antibodies of the isotypes IgG3 and IgG1 compared with control mice. TCR beta -/- mice, despite a striking increase in NK1.1+ cells and the presence of gamma delta T cells, were unable to clear their infection. Although the plasma of TCR beta -/- mice contained all Ig isotypes before and during a primary infection, they were unable to produce significant levels of malaria-specific IgG antibodies, suggesting that in the absence of alpha beta T cells gamma delta T cells are not able to provide efficient help for antibody production.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Protozoan / blood
  • Erythrocytes / immunology
  • Erythrocytes / parasitology*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Immunoglobulins / blood
  • Malaria / immunology*
  • Malaria / parasitology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Plasmodium chabaudi / growth & development
  • Plasmodium chabaudi / immunology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / immunology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / parasitology*


  • Antibodies, Protozoan
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta