Effect of Falciparum Malaria Infection on the in Vitro Mitogen Responses of Spleen and Peripheral Blood Lymphocytes from Owl Monkeys

View More View Less
  • Department of Tropical Medicine and Medical Microbiology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii 96816

The response of spleen and peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) to mitogen stimulation with phytohemagglutinin (PHA), Concanavalin A (ConA), and pokeweed mitogen (PWM) was determined for owl monkeys (Aotus trivirgatus) experimentally infected with the Vietnam-Oak Knoll (FVO) and the Uganda-Palo Alto (FUP) strains of Plasmodium falciparum. PBL from Panamanian Aotus monkeys with less than 25% FVO infection responded normally to mitogen stimulation; however, increased parasitemia of 25–50% resulted in a significant suppression of ConA responsiveness. Colombian Aotus monkeys infected with the FUP strain also developed a suppression to ConA stimulation but with a lower parasitemia (10–25%). When the parasitemia became greater than 50% in these animals, PHA, ConA, and PWM responses were significantly decreased in cultures of PBL. Spleen cells from all acutely infected Aotus monkeys were suppressed to PHA and ConA, but not PWM stimulation. Changes in mitogen responsiveness of experimentally infected Aotus monkeys are similar to those reported for humans with acute falciparum malaria.