Cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses defined by delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reactivity to cryptococcal culture filtrate antigen (CneF) can be either protective or nonprotective against an infection with Cryptococcus neoformans. The protective and nonprotective anticryptococcal DTH responses are induced by different immunogens and have differing activated-T-cell profiles. This study examined the effects of blockade of the interaction between cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) and its ligands B7-1 (CD80) and B7-2 (CD86) on the anticryptococcal DTH responses and protection. We found that CTLA-4 blockade at the time of immunization with the immunogen that induces the protective response, CneF, in complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) or the immunogen that induces the nonprotective response, heat-killed cryptococcal cells (HKC), enhanced anticryptococcal DTH reactivity. In contrast, blocking CTLA-4 after the immune response was induced failed to enhance responses. Blockade of CTLA-4 in an infection model resulted in earlier development of the anticryptococcal CMI response than in control mice. Concomitant with increases in DTH reactivity in mice treated with anti-CTLA-4 Fab fragments at the time of immunization, there were decreases in cryptococcal CFU in lungs, spleens, and brains compared to controls. Blockade of CTLA-4 resulted in long-term protection, as measured by significantly increased survival times, only in mice given the protective immunogen, CneF-CFA. Anti-CTLA-4 treatment did not shift the response induced by the nonprotective immunogen, HKC, to a long-term protective one. Our data indicate that blockade of CTLA-4 interactions with its ligands may be useful in enhancing host defenses against C. neoformans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases