Suppression by Trypanosoma brucei of anaphylaxis-mediated ion transport in the small intestine of rats

Simon Stewart Gould, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Most tissue-invasive parasitic helminths prime for type 1 hypersensitivity or anaphylaxis during some phase of their life cycles. A prototype in this regard is the nematode Trichinella spiralis. Blood protozoa capable of tissue invasion, such as Trypanosoma brucei, might also be expected to prime for the expression of anaphylaxis. However, this response is usually absent in protozoal infections. The hypothesis tested was that failure of hosts infected with T.brucei to express anaphylaxis is related to this parasite's ability to selectively down-regulate immunoglobulin E (IgE) production, and not to an innate lack of allergenicity on the part of T.brucei-derived antigens. This hypothesis was tested by studying in the intestine of rats, antigen-induced Cl$\sp-$ secretion, which results from a local anaphylactic response mediated by IgE and mucosal mast cells. The Cl$\sp-$ secretory response can be primed either by infection with T.spiralis or by the parenteral administration of antigen. Anaphylaxis-induced Cl$\sp-$ secretion is expressed in vitro, and can be quantified electrophysiologically, as a change in transmural short-circuit current when sensitized intestine is mounted in Ussing chambers and challenged with the sensitizing antigen. Rats injected parenterally with trypanosome antigen elicited intestinal anaphylaxis in response to antigenic challenge. In contrast, the intestine of rats infected with T.brucei failed to respond to challenge with trypanosome antigen. Infection with T.brucei also suppressed antigen-induced Cl$\sp-$ secretion in rats sensitized and challenged with various antigens, including T.spiralis antigen. However, T.brucei infection did not inhibit the anaphylactic response in rats concomitantly infected with T.spiralis. Relative to the anaphylactic mediators, T.brucei infection blocked production of IgE in rats parenterally injected with antigen but not in T.spiralis-infected hosts. Also, the mucosal mastocytosis normally associated with trichinosis was unaffected by the trypanosome infection. These results support the conclusion that the failure to express anaphylaxis-mediated Cl$\sp-$ secretion in T.brucei infected rats, is due to this protozoan's ability to inhibit IgE production and not to the lack of allergenicity of trypanosome antigens.

Subject Area

Anatomy & physiology|Animals|Immunology

Recommended Citation

Gould, Simon Stewart, "Suppression by Trypanosoma brucei of anaphylaxis-mediated ion transport in the small intestine of rats" (1993). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9324935.