Antibody responses to Toxoplasma gondii antigen in human peripheral blood lymphocyte-reconstituted severe-combined immunodeficient mice reproduce the immunological status of the lymphocyte donor

W Walker, C W Roberts, J M Brewer, J Alexander

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These studies describe the production of specific antibodies in human peripheral blood lymphocyte-reconstituted severe-combined immunodeficient (PBL-SCID) mice following vaccination with antigen from the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. To determine the effect of previous exposure of the lymphocyte donor to antigen, human-PBL-SCID animals were created by transferring peripheral blood lymphocytes from either a single T. gondii-seronegative or a single seropositive donor. These reconstituted animals were subsequently inoculated with T. gondii soluble tachyzoite antigen (STAg) entrapped within non-ionic surfactant vesicles as an immunological adjuvant. Animals were bled at pre-determined time points post-vaccination and the expression of human anti-STAg antibodies in the plasma determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Human antibodies specific for STAg were readily inducible in both groups of reconstituted animals, although the pattern of isotype production differed markedly between groups. The response in animals reconstituted with lymphocytes from the T. gondii-seronegative donor consisted primarily of IgM and subsequently of IgG (predominantly IgG1). In animals reconstituted with lymphocytes from the seropositive donor, no parasite-specific IgM could be demonstrated. The detectable response to STAg consisted entirely of human antibodies of the IgG isotype (IgG1), indicative of a memory-type response. These results mimicked exactly the antibody responses that would be expected had the lymphocyte donors been directly challenged with either the antigen or the live infectious agent, demonstrating that the immune system within these animals is functional and reproducible with regard to both the primary and secondary responses of the human donors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1426-1430
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1995


  • animals
  • antibodies, protozoan
  • humans
  • immunoglobulin G
  • immunoglobulin M
  • immunologic memory
  • immunotherapy, adoptive
  • leukocytes, mononuclear
  • mice
  • mice, SCID
  • protozoan proteins
  • toxoplasma
  • vaccination

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