Coevolution of hosts and microorganisms: an analysis of the involvment of cytokines in host-parasite interactions

Owen Williams José Angel Gonzalo Carlos Martínez-A. Guido Kroemer About the authors

Abstract

Parasites may employ particular strategies of eluding an immune response by taking advantage of those mechanisms that normally guarantee immunological self-tolerance. Much in the way as it occurs during the establishment of self-tolerance, live pathogens may induce clonal deletion, functional inactivation(anergy) and immunosupression. At this latter level, it appears that certain pathogens produce immunosupresive cytokine-like mediators or provoke like host the secrete cytokines that will compromise the anti-parasite immune response. It appears that immune responses that preferentially involve T helper l cells (secretors of interleukin-2-and interferon-y) tend to be protective, whereas T helper 2 cells (secretors of IL-4, IL5, IL-6, and IL-10), a population that antagonizes T helper cells, mediate disease susceptibility and are immunopathological reactions. Cytokines produced by T helper 2 cells mediate many symptoms of infection, including eosinophilia, mastocytosis, hyperimmunoglobulinemia, and elevated IgE levels. Administration of IL-2 and IFN-y has beneficial effects in many infections mediated by viruses, bacteria, and protozoa. The use of live vaccinia virus might be an avenue for the treatment of or vaccination against infection. We have found that a vaccinia virus expressing the gene for human IL-2, though attenuated, precipitates autoimmune disease in immunodeficient athymic mice. Thus, although T helper l cytokines may have desired immunostimulatory properties, they also may lead to unwarranted autoaggressive responses.

host-parasite interactions; tolerance; cytokines; interleukin 2


ABSTRACT

Coevolution of hosts and microorganisms: an analysis of the involvment of cytokines in host-parasite interactions

Owen Williams1

José Angel Gonzalo1

Carlos Martínez-A.1

Guido Kroemer1

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Centro de Biología Molecular del CSIC, Madrid, Spain

Parasites may employ particular strategies of eluding an immune response by taking advantage of those mechanisms that normally guarantee immunological self-tolerance. Much in the way as it occurs during the establishment of self-tolerance, live pathogens may induce clonal deletion, functional inactivation(anergy) and immunosupression. At this latter level, it appears that certain pathogens produce immunosupresive cytokine-like mediators or provoke like host the secrete cytokines that will compromise the anti-parasite immune response. It appears that immune responses that preferentially involve T helper l cells (secretors of interleukin-2-and interferon-y) tend to be protective, whereas T helper 2 cells (secretors of IL-4, IL5, IL-6, and IL-10), a population that antagonizes T helper cells, mediate disease susceptibility and are immunopathological reactions. Cytokines produced by T helper 2 cells mediate many symptoms of infection, including eosinophilia, mastocytosis, hyperimmunoglobulinemia, and elevated IgE levels. Administration of IL-2 and IFN-y has beneficial effects in many infections mediated by viruses, bacteria, and protozoa. The use of live vaccinia virus might be an avenue for the treatment of or vaccination against infection. We have found that a vaccinia virus expressing the gene for human IL-2, though attenuated, precipitates autoimmune disease in immunodeficient athymic mice. Thus, although T helper l cytokines may have desired immunostimulatory properties, they also may lead to unwarranted autoaggressive responses.

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    04 June 2009
  • Date of issue
    1992
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