Expansion of the CD4-, CD8- gamma delta T cell subset in the spleens of mice during non-lethal blood-stage malaria

Eur J Immunol. 1993 Aug;23(8):1846-50. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830230817.


Splenic gamma delta T cells (CD4-, CD8-) increased more than 10-fold upon resolution of either Plasmodium chabaudi adami or P.c. chabaudi infections in C57BL/6 mice compared to controls. Similarly, a 10- to 20-fold expansion of the gamma delta T cell population was observed in beta 2-microglobulin deficient (beta 2-m0/0) mice that had resolved P.c. adami, P.c. chabaudi or P. yoelii yoelii infections. In contrast, increases in the number of splenic alpha beta T cells in these infected mice were only two to three-fold indicating a differential expansion of the gamma delta T cell subset during malaria. Because nucleated cells of beta 2-m0/0 mice lack surface expression of major histocompatibility complex class I and class Ib glycoproteins, our findings suggest that antigen presentation by these glycoproteins is not necessary for the increasing number of gamma delta T cells. Our observation that after resolution of P.c. adami malaria, C57BL/6 mice depleted of CD8+ cells by monoclonal antibody treatment had lower numbers of gamma delta T cells than untreated controls suggests that the demonstrated lack of CD8+ cells in beta 2-m0/0 mice does not contribute to the expansion of the gamma delta T cell population during non-lethal malaria.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4 Antigens / analysis*
  • CD8 Antigens / analysis*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Malaria / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Plasmodium chabaudi
  • Plasmodium yoelii
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / analysis*
  • Spleen / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*


  • CD4 Antigens
  • CD8 Antigens
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta