Volume 48, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Using glycol methacrylate in conjunction with avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex techniques, we studied the contribution of T cell subsets to tissue inflammation during acute infection. Two mouse/parasite model systems whose parasitology and pathology behaved differently were used. In C57Bl/6J mice infected with the Brazil strain, the levels of parasitism in blood and tissue (myocardial and skeletal muscle) reached a maximum at week 6 and decreased rapidly thereafter. Inflammatory responses in tissue corresponded with the parasitism, but decreased in intensity more gradually than that of parasitism. The T lymphocytes (Thy 1.2) were found to be the major lymphocyte population in inflammatory cardiac and skeletal muscles (64.6–81.2%) at both three and six weeks postinfection. Among T cells, CD8 cells (47.0–58.9%) significantly outnumbered CD4 cells (9.3–18.6%). The number of B cells (0–1.0%) and macrophages was low. Experiments using C3H/HeSnJ mice infected with the Sylvio X10/4 clone of at 30 days postinfection resulted in similar findings except for a higher CD8:CD4 ratio. The primary finding of this study is that Thy 1.2CD8CD4 T lymphocytes are the major cell population in both heart and skeletal muscle in acute murine infection. The predominance of CD8 T cells coincident with the decrease in the tissue parasite burden suggests a role for CD8 T cells in the control of at the level of the infected cell.


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