Immunologic Control of Toxoplasma gondii Infection by CD8+ Lymphocytes: A Model for Class I MHC-Restricted Recognition of Intracellular Parasites

  • Ricardo T. Gazzinelli
  • Eric Denkers
  • Frances Hakim
  • Alan Sher


Immunity against parasites (protozoa and helminths) has traditionally been thought to depend exclusively on CD4+ helper functions controlling B-cell (i.e., antibody) and lymphokine-mediated effector mechanisms. It is only within the last decade that CD8+ lymphocytes have been demonstrated to display protective activity against parasitic infections. As would be predicted, most CD8+-dependent effector mechanisms are directed against intracellular parasites infecting host cells expressing class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) products. Nevertheless, there are several examples of CD8+ cells interacting with extra-cellular parasites such as tachyzoites of Toxoplasma gondii (Khan et al., 1988) or schistosomula of Schistosoma mansoni (Butterworth et al., 1979). In the latter system, recognition is dependent on the presence of adsorbed MHC molecules on the parasite surface (Sher et al., 1978). While most examples of CD8+-dependent killing are directed against protozoa parasitizing host cells, the intracellular environments of the affected organisms differ considerably. Because of this, the study of parasite-CD8+ interactions provides some fascinating as well as highly relevant models for studying processing and presentation of foreign antigens by class I molecules.


Major Histocompatibility Complex Class Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Toxoplasma Gondii Parasitophorous Vacuole Bone Marrow Macrophage 
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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricardo T. Gazzinelli
  • Eric Denkers
  • Frances Hakim
  • Alan Sher

There are no affiliations available

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