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      Modulation of T Cell Responses in HTLV-1 Carriers and in Patients with Myelopathy Associated with HTLV-1

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          Objective: Human T lymphotropic virus-type 1 (HTLV-1) activates the immune system leading to a persistent and exacerbated T-cell response with increased production of IFN-γ and TNF-α. Overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines is correlated with the development of HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP), although some HTLV-1 carriers also show high levels of these cytokines. In this study, the ability of regulatory cytokines and cytokine antagonists to inhibit spontaneous IFN-γ production was investigated. Method: IFN-γ levels were measured by ELISA before and after addition of cytokines or anti-cytokines. Results: Addition of IL-10 significantly reduced spontaneous IFN-γ synthesis in cell cultures from HTLV-1 carriers, while no differences were observed in HAM/TSP patients. There was also a tendency to decreased IFN-γ levels in cell cultures from HTLV-1 carriers with exogenous addition of TGF-β. In paired analysis, neutralization of IL-2 significantly decreased IFN-γ production in HTLV-1 carriers but not in HAM/TSP patients. Neutralization of IL-15 was less effective than neutralization of IL-2 in modulating IFN-γ production. In HTLV-1 carriers, anti-IL-2 and simultaneous addition of anti-IL-2 and anti-IL-15 decreased IFN-γ synthesis by 46 and 64%, respectively, whereas in patients with HAM/TSP simultaneous neutralization of both anti-cytokines only decrease IFN-γ levels by 27%. Conclusions: Although a large proportion of HTLV-1 carriers produced high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines similar to those observed in HAM/TSP patients, immune response can be downregulated by cytokines or cytokine antagonists in most HTLV-1 carriers. This modulation can be an important step in the prevention of tissue damage and progression from the HTLV-1 carrier state to HAM/TSP.

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          Most cited references 19

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          Cellular immune response to HTLV-1.

          There is strong evidence at the individual level and the population level that an efficient cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response to HTLV-1 limits the proviral load and the risk of associated inflammatory diseases such as HAM/TSP. This evidence comes from host population genetics, viral genetics, DNA expression microarrays and assays of lymphocyte function. However, until now there has been no satisfactory and rigorous means to define or to measure the efficiency of an antiviral CTL response. Recently, methods have been developed to quantify lymphocyte turnover rates in vivo and the efficiency of anti-HTLV-1 CTLs ex vivo. Data from these new techniques appear to substantiate the conclusion that variation between individual hosts in the rate at which a single CTL kills HTLV-1-infected lymphocytes is an important determinant, perhaps the decisive determinant, of the proviral load and the risk of HAM/TSP. With these experimental data, it is becoming possible to refine, parameterize and test mathematical models of the immune control of HTLV-1, which are a necessary part of an understanding of this complex dynamic system.
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             A Gessain (1985)
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              Schistosomiasis decreases central nervous system inflammation and alters the progression of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

              A preestablished infection with the parasitic helminth, Schistosoma mansoni, significantly reduced the incidence and delayed the onset of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in C57BL/6J mice immunized with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)(35-55) peptide. The altered disease progression was not solely due to the induction of a strong Th2 response, since intraperitoneal injection of schistosome eggs did not affect disease development. MOG-specific gamma interferon (IFN-gamma), nitric oxide, and tumor necrosis factor alpha production by splenocytes was significantly reduced in schistosome-infected mice compared to uninfected mice. However, similar levels of interleukin-10 (IL-10) were produced in an antigen-specific manner, suggesting that the induction of antigen-specific responses was not inhibited. Analysis of in vivo cytokine production by real-time PCR indicated that IL-12p40, but not IFN-gamma, transcript levels were dramatically reduced in the spinal cords of schistosome-infected, MOG-immunized mice. Furthermore, analysis of the cellular composition of the spinal cords and brains revealed that a preestablished infection with S. mansoni decreased central nervous system (CNS) inflammation, particularly of macrophages and CD4 T cells. These results suggest that schistosomiasis may negatively regulate the onset of EAE by downregulating the production of proinflammatory cytokines and altering CNS inflammation.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                February 2007
                09 February 2007
                : 13
                : 3
                : 145-151
                aServiço de Imunologia, Hospital Universitário Professor Edgard Santos, e bDepartamento de Biomorfologia, Instituto de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, cDepartamento de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana, Feira de Santana, e dInstituto de Investigação em Imunologia (iii), São Paulo, Brazil; eWeill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, N.Y., USA
                97259 Neuroimmunomodulation 2006;13:75–81
                © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 1, References: 35, Pages: 7
                Original Paper


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