Excreted-secreted Ags (ESA) of Toxoplasma gondii (Tg) play an important role in the stimulation of the host immune system in both acute and chronic infections. To identify the parasite Ag(s) involved in the maintenance of T cell-mediated long term immunity, 40 ESA-specific T cell clones were derived from three chronically infected healthy subjects. All the clones were CD4+ and recognized both ESA and live tachyzoites in a HLA-DR-restricted manner. Conversely, CD4+ tachyzoite-specific T cell clones from the same subjects proliferated in response to ESA, pointing to shared immunodominant Ags between ESA and Tg tachyzoites. By T cell blot analysis using SDS-PAGE- fractionated parasite extracts, the following patterns of reactivity were detected. Of 25 clones, 6 recognized Tg fractions in the 24- to 28-kDa range and proliferated to purified GRA2, 5 reacted with Tg fractions in the 30- to 33-kDa range; and 4 of them proved to be specific for rSAg1. Although surface Ag (SAg1) is not a member of ESA, small amounts of this protein were present in ESA preparation by Western blot. Of 25 clones, 8 responded to Tg fractions in the 50- to 60-kDa range but not to the 55-kDa recombinant rhoptries-2 parasite Ag, and 6 did not react with any Tg fraction but proliferated in response to either ESA or total parasite extracts. In conclusion, CD4+ T cells specific for either ESA (GRA2) or SAg1 may be involved in the maintenance of long term immunity to Tg in healthy chronically infected individuals.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 1 2000|
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