T cell and non-T cell compartments can independently determine resistance to Leishmania major.
Shankar AH., Titus RG.
In experimental murine cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania major (Lm), the cellular determinants governing development of protective or exacerbative T cells are not well understood. We, therefore, attempted to determine the influence of T cell and non-T cell compartments on disease outcome. To this end, T cell chimeric mice were constructed using adult thymectomized lethally irradiated, bone marrow-reconstituted (ATXBM) animals of genetically resistant, C57BL/6, or susceptible, BALB/c, backgrounds. These hosts were engrafted with naive T cell populations from H-2-congenic susceptible, BALB.B6-H-2b, or resistant, C57BL/6.C-H-2d, animals, respectively. Chimeric mice were then infected with Lm, and disease outcome was monitored. BALB/c T cell chimeric mice, BALB/c ATXBM hosts given naive C57BL/6.C-H-2d T cells, resolved their infections as indicated by reductions in both lesion size and parasite numbers. Furthermore, the mice developed typical Th1 (interferon[IFN]-gamma hiinterleukin[IL]-4lo) cytokine patterns. In contrast, both sham chimeric, BALB/c ATXBM hosts given naive BALB/c T cells, and control irradiated euthymic mice succumbed to infection, producing Th2 profiles (IFN-gamma loIL-4hiIL-10hi). C57BL/6 T cell chimeras, C57BL/6 ATXBM hosts given naive BALB.B6-H-2b T cells, resolved their infections as did C57BL/6 sham chimeras and euthymic controls. Interestingly, whereas C57BL/6 control animals produced Th1 cytokines, chimeric animals progressed from Th0 (IFN-gamma hiIL-4hiIL-10hi) to Th2 (IFN-gamma loIL-4hiIL-10hi) cytokine profiles as cure ensued. Both reconstitution and chimeric status of all mice were confirmed by flow cytometry. In addition, T cell receptor V beta usage of Lm-specific blasts was determined. In all cases, V beta use was multiclonal, involving primarily V beta 2, 4, 6, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 10, and 14, with relative V beta frequencies differing between H-2b and H-2d animals. Most importantly, however, these differences did not segregate between cure and noncure outcomes. These findings indicate that: (a) genetic traits determining cure in Lm infection can direct disease outcome from both T cell and non-T cell compartments; (b) the presence of the curing genotype in only one compartment is sufficient to confer cure; (c) curing genotype T cells autonomously assume a Th1 cytokine profile-mediating cure; (d) noncuring genotype T cells can mediate cure in a curing environment, despite the onset of Th2 cytokine production; and lastly, (e) antigen specificity of responding T cells, as assessed by V beta T cell receptor diversity, is not a critical determinant of disease outcome.