The magnitude of CD4+ T-cell activation rather than TCR diversity determines the outcome of Leishmania infection in mice

L. Xin, J. L. Wanderley, Y. Wang, D. A. Vargas-Inchaustegui, L. Soong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


CD4+ T cells play a critical role in determining the disease outcome in murine cutaneous leishmaniasis, and selective usage of T-cell receptor (TCR) is implied in promoting Leishmania major infection. However, little information is available on TCR usage in Leishmania-specific, IFN-γ-producing CD4+ T cells. In this study, we investigated the TCR diversity and activation of CD4+ T cells in a nonhealing model associated with L. amazonensis (La) infection and a self-healing model associated with L. braziliensis (Lb) infection. While marked expansion in the absolute number of several subsets was observed in Lb-infected mice, the percentages of TCR Vβ+CD4+-cell subsets were comparable in draining LN- and lesion-derived T cells in two infection models. We found that multiple TCR Vβ CD4+T cells contributed collectively and comparably to IFN-γ production and that the overall levels of IFN-γ production positively correlated with the control of Lb infection. Moreover, pre-infection with Lb parasites provided cross-protection against secondary La infection, owing to an enhanced magnitude of T-cell activation and IFN-γ production. Collectively, this study suggests that the magnitude of CD4+ T-cell activation, rather than the TCR diversity, is the major determining factor for the outcome of Leishmania infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-180
Number of pages11
JournalParasite Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Leishmania
  • Protozoan parasites
  • T-cell activation
  • TCR diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Immunology


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