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Cellular immune response of Mastomys and gerbils in experimental filariasis

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objective To determine mitogenic and antigen-specific cellular immune responses of two species of rodents, viz. Merionesunguiculatus and Mastomyscoucha to assess the usefulness of the A. viteae/Mastomys model for cellular immune studies in experimental filariasis.

methods Lymphocyte blast transformation test (LTT) using spleen cells of normal and A. viteae infected animals.

results The proliferative response of gerbils was much higher than that of Mastomys to both ConA and filarial antigens. Cells of both species of rodents did not respond to microfilarial (mf) antigen, however, their mitogenic response differed during infection. Some degree of nonspecific suppression was observed in gerbils during prepatent and patent stages of infection, while Mastomys revealed highest proliferation during patent microfilaraemia. Mastomys cells did not respond to adult or mf antigen,while adult-specific proliferation was detected in the case of gerbils.

conclusion The A. viteae/gerbil model shows more similarity to human filarial infection regarding cellular immune response. Markedly low responsiveness of a high percentage of Mastomys and wide variations in the cellular response to nonspecific mitogen limit the usefulness of Mastomyscoucha in immunological studies, especially cellular immunity.

Keywords: A. viteae; Mastomys coucha; Meriones unguiculatus; antigen; blastogenesis; filariasis; mitogen

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Division of Parasitology, Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, India

Publication date: February 1, 1998


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