γδ T cell inhibit in vitro growth of the asexual blood stages of Plasmodium falciparum by a granule exocytosis-dependent cytotoxic pathway that requires granulysin

Salah E. Farouk, Lucia Mincheva-Nilsson, Alan M. Krensky, Francesco Dieli, Marita Troye-Blomberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

Several reports have stated the ability of γδ T cells to inhibit the growth of the asexual blood stages of Plasmodium falciparum in vitro. However, little information is available about the mechanisms involved. In this study, in vitro systems were used to study the role of the granule exocytosis-dependent cytotoxic pathway in the growth inhibition/killing of P. falciparum by human γδ T cells. Our results show that the inhibition requires cell-to-cell contact and that γδ T cells kill the asexual blood stages of P. falciparum through a granule exocytosis-dependent cytotoxic pathway after recognition of certain ligands or molecules expressed on the surface of infected erythrocytes or merozoites. The in vitro inhibitory capacity of γδ T cells was strongly correlated with the expression of granulysin in the cytotoxic granules, while non-inhibitory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells expressed very little, implicating a role for granulysin in parasite inhibition. This was further suggested by the addition of neutralizing anti-granulysin antibodies, which abrogated the parasite inhibitory capacity of the γδ T cells. Taken together, our results suggest that the capacity of γδ T cells for inhibition/killing of P. falciparum is based on the granule exocytosis-dependent cytotoxic pathway and that the presence of granulysin is essential to maintain efficient killing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2248-2256
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Volume34
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2004

Keywords

  • Degranulation
  • Granulysin
  • P. falciparum
  • Perforin
  • γδ T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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