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In-vitro lymphoproliferative responses to malaria antigens are suppressed in patients with acute Plasmodium falciparum infection. Studies with other parasitic diseases have suggested that monocyte/macrophage-derived prostaglandins may be responsible for immunosuppression. Since acute malaria infection is characteristically associated with fever it is likely that prostaglandin E production will also be enhanced in these patients. In this study, indomethacin, a cyclooxygenase inhibitor which blocks the synthesis of prostaglandins, was added to the culture medium during assays of lymphoproliferative responses to malaria antigens and other soluble proteins. Responses to several antigens were enhanced in the presence of indomethacin, indicating that prostaglandins may have a generalized immunosuppressive role in malaria-infected individuals. However, responses to malaria antigens were particularly enhanced by indomethacin, suggesting that malaria-specific T-cells are especially sensitive to the effects of prostaglandin, possibly due to prior activation in vivo by circulating malaria antigens.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Parasite Immunol

Publication Date

09/1989

Volume

11

Pages

509 - 517

Keywords

Animals, Antigens, Protozoan, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Humans, Immune Tolerance, Indomethacin, Infant, Lymphocyte Activation, Malaria, Male, Plasmodium falciparum, Prostaglandins E