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

Theileria parva infection induces autocrine growth of bovine lymphocytes.

Bovine lymphocytes infected with the parasite Theileria parva continuously secrete a growth factor that is essential for their proliferation in vitro and also constitutively express interleukin 2 receptors on their surface. Dilution of the secreted growth factor, caused by culturing cells at low density, results in retardation of culture growth. Human recombinant interleukin 2, however, effectively substitutes for the diluted growth factor by restoring normal growth rates and also allows Theileria-infected cells to be grown at low density without the use of feeder layers. Secretion of the growth factor and expression of the interleukin 2 receptor depend on the presence of the parasite in the cytoplasm of the host cell. Elimination of the parasite from the cell cytoplasm by the specific antitheilerial drug BW 720c results in the arrest of growth factor secretion and the disappearance of interleukin 2 receptors from the cell surface. This is accompanied by growth arrest and reversion of the infected cells to the morphology of resting lymphocytes. We propose that the continuous proliferation of infected cells in vitro is mediated by autocrine receptor activation.[1]


  1. Theileria parva infection induces autocrine growth of bovine lymphocytes. Dobbelaere, D.A., Coquerelle, T.M., Roditi, I.J., Eichhorn, M., Williams, R.O. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1988) [Pubmed]
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