Stimulation of human T lymphocytes obtained from Toxoplasma gondii- seronegative persons by proteins derived from T. gondii

Matthew B. Purner, Randolph L. Berens, Stanislas Tomavo, Laurece Lecordier, Marie France Cesbron-Delauw, Brian L. Kotzin, Tyler J. Curiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Toxoplasma gondii antigens are superantigens in mice. To investigate a superantigen effect in humans, lymphocytes from T. gondii-seronegative subjects were studied for proliferation to T. gondii antigens (TA). Marked cellular proliferation, predominantly of CD4+ lymphocytes, was apparent. TA elicited expansions of Vβ-bearing lymphocytes in all subjects, but different Vβ-bearing lymphocytes were expanded in different subjects in both CD4+ and CD8+ subpopulations. Cord blood cells also proliferated to TA. Previously fixed antigen-presenting cells were unable to present TA. Thus, T. gondii appears to produce a molecule(s) that induces polyclonal activation of human T cells and requires antigen processing to mediate this effect. That T. gondii does not appear to behave as a superantigen in humans is important in understanding the pathogenesis of T. gondii infection in immunocompromised hosts and in the design of anti-T. gondii vaccines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)746-753
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this