Immunopathogenesis of cerebral toxoplasmosis

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69 Scopus citations


Interferon (IFN)-γ is an absolute requirement for resistance against acute acquired infection with Toxoplasma gondii and development of toxoplasmic encephalitis (TE) during the late stage of infection. Multiple populations of both T and non-T cells are important sources of IFN-γ in resistance. In the absence of IFN-γ-producing non-T cells, T cells cannot prevent TE. Interleukin-12, Bcl-3, NF-κB(2), and CD40-CD40L ligand interaction are important for up-regulation of IFN-γ production. T. gondii infects a variety of host cells, and IFN-γ-mediated immune responses control the parasite in both phagocytic and nonphagocytic cells through at least five mechanisms, most likely depending on the types of cells responding to IFN-γ. Such effector functions involve production of NO by iNOS, tryptophan degradation by the enzyme IDO (indolamine 2,3-dioxygenase), unidentified mechanism(s) mediated by 47- to 48-kDa proteins encoded by an IFN-γ responsive gene family, limiting the availability of intracellular iron to the parasite, and production of reactive oxygen intermediates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S234-S240
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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