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The role of CD4+ (L3/T4+) and CD8+ (Lyt-2+) T cells in immunity to Schistosoma mansoni induced by 20 krad-irradiated and Ro 11-terminated infections in mice was investigated directly by in vivo depletion of these subsets with cytotoxic rat monoclonal antibodies (mAb). Effective physical depletion was demonstrated by flow cytometric analysis and immunohistochemical staining. Functional depletion of helper activity following anti-CD4 treatment was indicated by an abrogation of concanavalin A(Con A)-induced colony-stimulating factor (CSF) release, while anti-CD8 treatment had no effect in these assays. Pre-existing S. mansoni-specific antibody levels were unaffected by anti-CD4 and anti-CD8 treatment. In vivo depletion of CD4+ T cells resulted in a dramatic reduction in immunity induced by one (up to 100%) and two (up to 70%) vaccinations with 20 krad-irradiated cercariae and also of resistance induced by Ro 11-attenuated infections (up to 100%). Depletion of CD8+ T cells had no effect on resistance induced by any of the vaccination protocols investigated. A correlation was observed between resistance and T cell-induced, macrophage-mediated killing of schistosomula in vitro, both of which were abrogated following anti-CD4 treatment but were unaffected by CD8+ T-cell depletion. The possible role of CD4+ T cells in vivo and the implications for vaccine development are discussed.


Journal article



Publication Date





466 - 472


Animals, Antibodies, Helminth, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Colony-Stimulating Factors, Female, Lymphocyte Depletion, Macrophage Activation, Mice, Mice, Inbred CBA, Schistosoma mansoni, Schistosomiasis mansoni, T-Lymphocytes