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A Leishmania major-specific primary in vitro system that mimics the immune response of infected mice was used to determine the role that dendritic cells, B cells, and macrophages play in L. major T cell priming. Their relative priming potential (in order) was dendritic cells, B cells, and macrophages. Initiating primary in vitro responses with cell populations depleted of either B or dendritic cells modestly enhanced interferon (IFN)-gamma production; deleting both cells markedly enhanced IFN-gamma production. Thus, macrophages were the most effective cell for eliciting L. major Th1 cells. The effects of exogenously added IFN-gamma or neutralizing anti-IFN-gamma were also studied. With cells from genetically susceptible BALB/c mice, IFN-gamma inhibited proliferation and interleukin-4 secretion by T cells, whereas with resistant C57BL/6 cells, IFN-gamma enhanced IFN-gamma secretion. These results could not be explained by differences in IFN-gamma receptor expression.

Original publication





The Journal of infectious diseases

Publication Date





151 - 157


Department of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


B-Lymphocytes, Antigen-Presenting Cells, Dendritic Cells, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Macrophages, Animals, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Leishmania major, Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous, Disease Susceptibility, Receptors, Interferon, Recombinant Proteins, Antigens, CD, Interleukin-4, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Cytokines, Lymphocyte Activation, Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms, Immunity, Innate, Interferon-gamma