Predominance of CD8+ T lymphocytes in the inflammatory lesions of mice with acute Trypanosoma cruzi infection

J. Sun, R. L. Tarleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Using glycol methacrylate in conjunction with avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex techniques, we studied the contribution of T cell subsets to tissue inflammation during acute Trypanosoma cruzi infection. Two mouse/parasite model systems whose parasitology and pathology behaved differently were used. In C57B1/6J mice infected with the T. cruzi Brazil strain, the levels of parasitism in blood and tissue (myocardial and skeletal muscle) reached a maximum at week 6 and decreased rapidly thereafter. Inflammatory responses in tissue corresponded with the parasitism, but decreased in intensity more gradually than that of parasitism. The T lymphocytes (Thy 1.2+) were found to be the major lymphocyte population in inflammatory cardiac and skeletal muscles (64.6-81.2%) at both three and six weeks postinfection. Among T cells, CD8+ cells (47.0-58.9%) significantly outnumbered CD4+ cells (9.3- 18.6%). The number of B cells (0-1.0%) and macrophages was low. Experiments using C3H/HeSnJ mice infected with the Sylvio X10/4 clone of T. cruzi at 30 days postinfection resulted in similar findings except for a higher CD8+:CD4+ ratio. The primary finding of this study is that Thy 1.2+CD8+CD4+ T lymphocytes are the major cell population in both heart and skeletal muscle in acute murine T. cruzi infection. The predominance of CD8+ T cells coincident with the decrease in the tissue parasite burden suggests a role for CD8+ T cells in the control of T. cruzi at the level of the infected cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Predominance of CD8+ T lymphocytes in the inflammatory lesions of mice with acute Trypanosoma cruzi infection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this