Immunization of Cattle by Infection with Cowdria ruminantium Elicits T Lymphocytes That Recognize Autologous, Infected Endothelial Cells and Monocytes†
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Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from immune cattle proliferate in the presence of autologous Cowdria ruminantium-infected endothelial cells and monocytes, Endothelial cells required treatment with T-cell growth factors to induce class II major histocompatibility complex expression prior to infection and use as stimulators. Proliferative responses to both infected autologous endothelial cells and monocytes were characterized by expansion of a mixture of CD4(+), CD8(+), and gamma delta T cells. However, gamma delta T cells dominated following several restimulations. Reverse transcription-PCR analysis of cytokine expression by C. ruminantium-specific T-cell lines and immune PBMC revealed weak interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-4, kind gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) transcripts at 3 to 24 h after stimulation. Strong expression of IFN-gamma, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), TNF-beta, and IL-2 receptor alpha-chain mRNA was detected in T-cell lines 48 h after antigen stimulation. Supernatants from these T-cell cultures contained IFN-gamma protein. Our findings suggest that in immune cattle a C, ruminantium-specific T-cell response is induced and that infected endothelial cells and monocytes may present C. ruminantium antigens to specific T lymphocytes in vivo during infection and thereby play a role in induction of protective immune responses to the pathogen.
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