Intestinal pathology during acute toxoplasmosis is IL-4 dependent and unrelated to parasite burden

M. B. Nickdel, R. E. Lyons, F. Roberts, F. Brombacher, C. A. Hunter, J. Alexander, C. W. Roberts

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24 Citations (Scopus)


The role of interleukin-4 (IL-4) during the course of Toxoplasma gondii infection was studied using IL-4-/- mice and their wild-type (WT) counterparts on a C57BL/6 background. Following oral infection with T. gondii tissue cysts an exacerbative role for IL-4 was demonstrated and IL-4-/- mice were found to be more resistant to infection than WT mice as measured by significantly reduced mortality. Furthermore pathology in the small intestine was less severe in IL-4-/- mice although conversely liver pathology was greater than in wild-type mice. Significantly, plasma IL-12 and IFN-gamma levels, which peaked at days 6 and 8, respectively, were higher in IL-4-/- mice. The exacerbatory role of IL-4 in the intestine was found by competitive RT-PCR not to be associated with increased parasite burdens but was related to comparative expression of IL-10.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-82
Number of pages8
JournalParasite Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2004


  • acute disease
  • animals
  • cytokines
  • female
  • interleukin-4
  • intestine, small
  • male
  • mice
  • mice, inbred C57BL
  • Th1 cells
  • Th2 cells
  • toxoplasma
  • toxoplasmosis, animal

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