The role of IL-4 in adult acquired and congenital toxoplasmosis

J. Alexander, H. Jebbari, H. Bluethmann, F. Brombacher, C.W. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The course of Toxoplasma gondii infection was studied in IL-4-deficient mice from three genetic backgrounds and their wild-type counterparts following peroral inoculation of tissue cysts. Survival rates were significantly reduced in disease-susceptible C57 BL6 mice and F1 (C57BL6× 129Sv) mice deficient in IL-4 compared with wild-type controls. In contrast, this difference was not observed in T. gondii-resistant BALBc mice. However, brain tissue cyst burdens in IL-4-deficient mice were either equivalent to (C57BL6 and BALBc mice) or significantly less (B6129 mice) than similarly infected wild-type mice. Thus strain-specific differences in the course of T. gondii were demonstrated in the absence of IL-4. The course of T. gondii infection was also compared between B6129 IL-4-deficient mice and their wild-type counterparts following peroral challenge with 20 tissue cysts on day 12 of pregnancy. Age-matched non-pregnant IL-4−/− and IL-4+/+ mice were also infected to assess the role of IL-4 on T. gondii infection during pregnancy. Disease phenotypes, as measured by mortality, were reversed if infections were initiated during pregnancy compared with non-pregnant infection. Thus significant mortality occurred immediately post partum in IL-4+/+ mothers, while all IL-4−/− mothers survived. Cyst burdens 28 days p.i. were significantly lower in IL-4−/− mothers than IL-4+/+ mothers and both IL-4−/− and IL-4+/+ non-pregnant mice. Congenital disease transmission as measured by foetal death or vertical disease transmission was independent of the presence or absence of IL-4. These studies demonstrate a role for IL-4 in pregnancy-induced immunosuppression and the associated increased susceptibility to T. gondii infection.
LanguageEnglish
Pages113-120
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 1998

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Congenital Toxoplasmosis
Interleukin-4
Toxoplasmosis
Cysts
Pregnancy
Toxoplasma
Fetal Death
Mortality

Keywords

  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • IL-4
  • pregnancy
  • transgenic

Cite this

Alexander, J. ; Jebbari, H. ; Bluethmann, H. ; Brombacher, F. ; Roberts, C.W. / The role of IL-4 in adult acquired and congenital toxoplasmosis. In: International Journal for Parasitology. 1998 ; Vol. 28, No. 1. pp. 113-120.
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The role of IL-4 in adult acquired and congenital toxoplasmosis. / Alexander, J.; Jebbari, H.; Bluethmann, H.; Brombacher, F.; Roberts, C.W.

In: International Journal for Parasitology, Vol. 28, No. 1, 31.01.1998, p. 113-120.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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