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

Genetics of resistance to the African trypanosomes. VI. Heredity of resistance and variable surface glycoprotein-specific immune responses.

The question of genetic linkage of parasite-specific immune responses to resistance to infection in experimental African trypanosomiasis was addressed. For this purpose, major histocompatibility complex-compatible resistant and susceptible inbred mouse strains and their F1 hybrid, F2 hybrid, and backcross offspring were infected with Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense LouTat 1. Immunologic control of the first peak of parasitemia and survival times were the parameters measured. As we have reported previously (R. F. Levine and J. M. Mansfield, J. Immunol. 133:1564, 1984), B10.BR/SgSnJ mice are relatively resistant and controlled the growth of the infecting variant antigenic type (VAT) by mounting an antibody response to exposed epitopes of the variable surface glycoprotein ( VSG). Fluctuating parasitemias resulting from sequential growth of different variable antigenic types occurred subsequently, and these mice died with a median survival time of 48 days. C3HeB/FeJ mice, relatively susceptible, did not control the infecting VAT and did not exhibit VSG-specific antibodies. These mice died with a median survival time of 22 days. The (B10.BR X C3H)F1 hybrids derived from crosses between resistant and susceptible mice all exhibited VSG-specific antibody responses and controlled the infecting VAT population. However, the median survival time of the F1 hybrids (24 days) was not significantly different from the survival time of the susceptible C3H parent. These findings demonstrate for the first time that antibody-mediated control of parasitemia is inherited as a dominant trait; that overall resistance, as measured by survival time, is inherited as a recessive trait (e.g., susceptibility is dominant); and that the two events segregate independently of one another. Further analyses of the inheritance of immunity and resistance (survival time) were made in which the F2 hybrid and backcross studies revealed that there are multiple genes controlling the VSG-specific antibody response as well as determining susceptibility. An extension of the present studies to a similar but non-major histocompatibility complex-mouse model system of resistance and susceptibility (C57BL/6J and C3H/HeJ mice, F1 hybrids, and 11 recombinant inbred B X H strains derived from them) was made in order to link the strain distribution patterns of known genetic markers with control of VSG-specific antibody responses or with control of susceptibility. Results of this study showed that resistance varied independently of the ability to control parasitemia with VSG-specific B cell responses.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)[1]


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