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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Development of Francisella tularensis antigen responses measured as T-lymphocyte proliferation and cytokine production (tumor necrosis factor alpha, gamma interferon, and interleukin-2 and -4) during human tularemia.

The lymphocyte immune reactivity of 12 tularemia patients to Francisella tularensis antigens prepared from the bacterial cell envelope was examined during a 14-week follow-up study. Lymphocyte blast transformation responses of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) to different protein antigens appeared simultaneously 2 weeks after the first symptoms of tularemia, indicating that none of these antigens had any special role at the early phase of immunization. While the lymphocyte blast transformation responses of total lymphocytes to all bacterial antigens were negative in the week 1 samples, continuously growing F. tularensis-specific T-lymphocyte lines were obtained from PBMC at the same time, indicating that an immune response had already occurred. Later, the T-lymphocyte lines and lymphocyte blast transformation responses were similar. Lymphocyte activation among the PBMC was reflected in an increased number of HLA-DR antigen-expressing, CD4-positive T lymphocytes (CD4+ DR+). The mean secretion of soluble CD8 from F. tularemia antigen-stimulated PBMC increased 2 weeks after tularemia onset, but the mean number of CD8+ DR+ T lymphocytes did not vary during the study period and no correlation could be found between the soluble CD8 and number of CD8+ DR+ T lymphocytes. F. tularemia antigen-induced cytokine production was measured from the PBMC supernatants. High levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha were detected from the first week onwards. The highest levels of interleukin-2 and gamma interferon were recorded during the second and third weeks, respectively, after tularemia onset. Interleukin-4 could not be demonstrated in the lymphocyte supernatants.[1]


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