The ROP16III-dependent early immune response determines the subacute CNS immune response and type III Toxoplasma gondii survival

Autoři: Shraddha Tuladhar aff001;  Joshua A. Kochanowsky aff001;  Apoorva Bhaskara aff002;  Yarah Ghotmi aff002;  Sambamurthy Chandrasekaran aff002;  Anita A. Koshy aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Immunobiology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, United States of America aff001;  Bio5 Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, United States of America aff002;  Undergraduate Biology Research Program (UBRP), University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, United States of America aff003;  Department of Neurology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, United States of America aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: The ROP16III-dependent early immune response determines the subacute CNS immune response and type III Toxoplasma gondii survival. PLoS Pathog 15(10): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1007856
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1007856


Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular parasite that persistently infects the CNS and that has genetically distinct strains which provoke different acute immune responses. How differences in the acute immune response affect the CNS immune response is unknown. To address this question, we used two persistent Toxoplasma strains (type II and type III) and examined the CNS immune response at 21 days post infection (dpi). Contrary to acute infection studies, type III-infected mice had higher numbers of total CNS T cells and macrophages/microglia but fewer alternatively activated macrophages (M2s) and regulatory T cells (Tregs) than type II-infected mice. By profiling splenocytes at 5, 10, and 21 dpi, we determined that at 5 dpi type III-infected mice had more M2s while type II-infected mice had more pro-inflammatory macrophages and that these responses flipped over time. To test how these early differences influence the CNS immune response, we engineered the type III strain to lack ROP16 (IIIΔrop16), the polymorphic effector protein that drives the early type III-associated M2 response. IIIΔrop16-infected mice showed a type II-like neuroinflammatory response with fewer infiltrating T cells and macrophages/microglia and more M2s and an unexpectedly low CNS parasite burden. At 5 dpi, IIIΔrop16-infected mice showed a mixed inflammatory response with more pro-inflammatory macrophages, M2s, T effector cells, and Tregs, and decreased rates of infection of peritoneal exudative cells (PECs). These data suggested that type III parasites need the early ROP16-associated M2 response to avoid clearance, possibly by the Immunity-Related GTPases (IRGs), which are IFN-γ- dependent proteins essential for murine defenses against Toxoplasma. To test this possibility, we infected IRG-deficient mice and found that IIIΔrop16 parasites now maintained parental levels of PECs infection. Collectively, these studies suggest that, for the type III strain, rop16III plays a key role in parasite persistence and influences the subacute CNS immune response.

Klíčová slova:

Central nervous system – Cytotoxic T cells – Immune response – Macrophages – Parasitic diseases – T cells – Toxoplasma


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