In schistosomiasis mansoni, hepatic granulomatous inflammation surrounding parasite eggs is mediated by CD4+ T helper (Th) cells sensitized to schistosomal egg antigens (SEA). We previously showed that a prominent lymphoproliferative response of CD4+ Th cells from schistosome-infected C57BL/6 (BL/6) mice was directed against a 62-kDa component of SEA. A partial amino acid sequence of the 62-kDa component was found to be identical with one present in the enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK). Based on this sequence, a cDNA clone containing the entire coding region of PEPCK was identified, and the full recombinant Schistosoma mansoni PEPCK (rSm-PEPCK) of 626 amino acids was purified from a prokaryotic expression system. rSm-PEPCK strongly stimulated a specific T-cell hybridoma, 4E6, as well as CD4+ Th cells from SEA-immunized BL/6 mice and from infected BL/6, CBA, and BALB/c mice. In the infected mice, rSm-PEPCK elicited significant gamma interferon production as well as, to a lesser extent, production of interleukin-2 and - 5. In BL/6 and BALB/c mice, the CD4+ Th cell response to rSm-PEPCK was greater than that directed against the egg antigen Sm-p40; conversely, CBA mice responded better to Sm-p40 than to Sm-PEPCK. A 12-amino-acid region (residues 398 to 409: DKSKDPKAHPNS) was demonstrated to contain a T-cell epitope; synthetic peptides containing this epitope significantly stimulated specific hybridoma 4E6 and polyclonal CD4+ Th cells. The identification and characterization of immunogenic egg components will contribute to the understanding and possible control of T-cell-mediated schistosomal disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases