Volume 54, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



We investigated whether administration of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) to pregnant rats, infected or not with , was likely to protect their offspring from trypanosomal infection. Upon mating with syngeneic sires, four groups of 70-day-old female 1 rats were subjected to one of the following procedures: treatment with recombinant rat (Rr)IFN-γ 50,000 IU/rat five times/week for three weeks; infection with 1 × 10 trypomastigotes of at 7, 14, and 21 days after mating plus IFN-γ treatment as given to the former group; the same protocol but IFN-γ injections being replaced by injection with physiologic saline. Offspring were nursed by their mothers until weaning and then infected with a similar dose of . Pregnant rats showed no exacerbated infection but a self-resolving mild disease, regardless of whether or not they had received IFN-γ. Maternal infection with and/or IFN-γ treatment did not affect gestational outcome. Offspring born to both groups of IFN-γ-treated mothers were almost fully protected from acute infection, and showed higher levels of anti- IgG antibodies when compared with young born to their respective IFN-γ-untreated mothers. Measurements of IFN-γ serum activities indicated that ameliorated acute disease in offspring whose mothers were given IFN-γ during gestation, was not associated with increased levels of endogenously produced IFN-γ.


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