In vitro correlates of Ld-restricted resistance to toxoplasmic encephalitis and their critical dependence on parasite strain

Jennifer J Johnson, Craig W Roberts, Constance Pope, Fiona Roberts, Michael J Kirisits, Randee Estes, Ernest Mui, Tim Krieger, Charles R Brown, Jim Forman, Rima McLeod

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32 Citations (Scopus)


Resistance to murine toxoplasmic encephalitis has been precisely and definitively mapped to the L(d) class I gene. Consistent with this, CD8(+) T cells can adoptively transfer resistance to toxoplasmic encephalitis. However, cytotoxic CD8(+) T cells, capable of killing class I-matched, infected target cells, are generated during the course of Toxoplasma gondii infection even in mice lacking the L(d) gene. L(d)-restricted killing could not be demonstrated, and the functional correlate of the L(d) gene has therefore remained elusive. Herein, L(d)-restricted killing of T. gondii-infected target cells is demonstrated for the first time. L(d)-restricted killing is critically dependent on the strain of T. gondii and is observed with all the derivatives of type II strains tested, but not with a type I strain. These results have important implications for vaccine development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)966-973
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2002


  • animals
  • antigens, protozoan
  • cells, cultured
  • cytotoxicity, immunologic
  • encephalitis
  • female
  • H-2 antigens
  • histocompatibility antigen H-2D
  • humans
  • immunity, innate
  • interferon-gamma
  • lymphocyte activation
  • male
  • mice
  • mice, inbred BALB C
  • mice, i`nbred C3H
  • mice, transgenic
  • species specificity
  • spleen
  • T-lymphocytes, cytotoxic
  • toxoplasma
  • toxoplasmosis, animal
  • virulence

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