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Vγ9Vδ2 T cells proliferate in response to phosphoantigens released from erythrocytes infected with asexual and gametocyte stage Plasmodium falciparum.

Journal article
Authors Chenxiao Liu
S Noushin Emami
Jean Pettersson
Lisa Ranford-Cartwright
Ingrid Faye
Ingela Parmryd
Published in Cellular immunology
Volume 334
Pages 11-19
ISSN 1090-2163
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Biomedicine
Pages 11-19
Language en
Subject categories Immunology, Medical cell biology, Tumour immunology


Vγ9Vδ2 T cells, the dominant γδ T cell subset in human peripheral blood, are stimulated by phosphoantigens, of which (E)-4-Hydroxy-3-methyl-but-2-enyl pyrophosphate, is produced in the apicoplast of malaria parasites. Cell-free media from synchronised Plasmodium falciparum asexual ring, trophozoite, and schizont stage-cultures of high purity as well as media from ruptured schizont cultures, all stimulated Vγ9Vδ2 T cell proliferation, as did media from pure gametocyte cultures, whereas media from uninfected erythrocytes cultures did not. The media from ruptured schizont cultures and all the asexual and gametocyte stage cultures contained only background iron levels, suggesting that all erythrocyte haemoglobin is consumed as the parasites develop and supporting that the phosphoantigens were released from intact parasitized erythrocytes. The Vγ9Vδ2 T cell-stimulating agent was not affected by freezing, thawing or heating but was sensitive to phosphatase treatment, confirming its phosphoantigen identity. In summary, phosphoantigens are released from parasitised erythrocytes at all developmental blood stages.

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