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Humoral Factors and Nonspecific Immune Suppression in Syrian Hamsters Infected with Leishmania donovani

Thomas G. Evans, D. Smith and Richard D. Pearson
The Journal of Parasitology
Vol. 76, No. 2 (Apr., 1990), pp. 212-217
DOI: 10.2307/3283018
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3283018
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Humoral Factors and Nonspecific Immune Suppression in Syrian Hamsters Infected with Leishmania donovani
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Abstract

Leishmania donovani produces progressive wasting and ultimately fatal visceral leishmaniasis in Syrian hamsters and provides an excellent model of progressive disease in humans. Experimentally infected hamsters were used to investigate the development of nonspecific immune suppression during visceral leishmaniasis and its association with humoral factors and wasting. At 2 wk all infected hamsters had developed antibody against a 59-kDa parasite antigen not recognized by sera of control hamsters. By 4 wk, strong antibody responses were noted against antigens of 26, 35, 46, 69, 107, and 120 kDa. No additional antigen was recognized at 6 or 8 wk or in hamsters treated with high doses of a pentavalent antimonial (stibogluconate sodium, 100 mg/kg/day for 5 days). Weight loss was first noted in infected hamsters at 8 wk. No difference in splenic lymphocyte proliferation in response to concanavalin A (Con A) was noted at 2 wk, but by 6 wk infected animals had only 20% of the Con A response of controls, and by 8 wk only 13%. Furthermore, incubation of splenic lymphocytes from uninfected control animals with 5% fetal calf serum and 5% serum from infected hamsters obtained at 4, 6, or 8 wk suppressed Con A responses by 50%, 99%, and 100%, respectively. Spleen cells from drug-treated animals exhibited no suppression of Con A responses when incubated with 5% autologous serum, but there was profound suppression when they were incubated with 5% autologous serum obtained during the acute phase of infection. Humoral factors, but not wasting, contributed to the suppression of lymphocyte responses.

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