Initiation of the pulmonary inflammatory response to Pneumocystis carinii is delayed by 3 wk in mice infected as neonates compared with adults. There was no difference in the proliferative response of draining lymph node T cells from mice infected as neonates compared with adults when stimulated in vitro with either Con A or anti-CD3 mAb. However, TNF-α and IFN-γ mRNA expression in the lungs of P. carinii-infected neonates was significantly lower than in adults indicating a lack of appropriate activation signaling in the local environment. This may have been due to active suppression because TGF-β mRNA expression was significantly elevated in neonatal lungs compared with adults. To determine whether T cells from 10-day-old mice would effect resolution of P. carinii if harbored in an adult lung environment, cells were adoptively transferred to SCID mice with established P. carinii infections. There was no difference in the kinetics of T cell migration into the lungs or of clearance of P. carinii organisms when SCID mice were reconstituted with splenocytes from young mice as compared with adult mice. Furthermore, splenocytes from young mice stimulated both TNF-α and IFN-γ mRNA expression to levels that were similar to that in the lungs of SCID mice reconstituted with adult cells. These data indicate that neonatal lymphocytes are competent to resolve P. carinii infection when harbored in an adult lung environment, suggesting that the neonatal lung environment, and not the T cells, is ineffective at responding to P. carinii infection.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|State||Published - May 1 2001|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy