CD4+ T-cell clones obtained from cattle chronically infected with Fasciola hepatica and specific for adult worm antigen express both unrestricted and Th2 cytokine profiles. Academic Article uri icon


  • The well-established importance of helper T (Th)-cell subsets in immunity and immunoregulation of many experimental helminth infections prompted a detailed study of the cellular immune response against Fasciola hepatica in the natural bovine host. T-cell lines established from two cattle infected with F. hepatica were characterized for the expression of T-cell surface markers and proliferative responses against F. hepatica adult worm antigen. Parasite-specific T-cell lines contained a mixture of CD4+, CD8+, and gamma/delta T-cell-receptor-bearing T cells. However, cell lines containing either fewer than 10% CD8+ T cells or depleted of gamma/delta T cells proliferated vigorously against F. hepatica antigen, indicating that these T-cell subsets are not required for proliferative responses in vitro. Seventeen F. hepatica-specific CD4+ Th-cell clones were examined for cytokine expression following concanavalin A stimulation. Biological assays to measure interleukin-2 (IL-2) or IL-4, gamma interferon (IFN-gamma), and tumor necrosis factor and Northern (RNA) blot analysis to verify the expression of IL-2, IL-4, and IFN-gamma revealed that the Th-cell clones expressed a spectrum of cytokine profiles. Several Th-cell clones were identified as Th2 cells by the strong expression of IL-4 but little or no IL-2 or IFN-gamma mRNA. The majority of Th-cell clones were classified as Th0 cells by the expression of either all three cytokines or combinations of IL-2 and IL-4 or IL-4 and IFN-gamma. No Th1-cell clones were obtained. All of the Th-cell clones expressed a typical memory cell surface phenotype, characterized as CD45Rlow, and all expressed the lymph node homing receptor (L selectin). These results are the first to describe cytokine responses of F. hepatica-specific T cells obtained from infected cattle and extend our previous analysis of Th0 and Th1 cells from cattle immune to Babesia bovis (W. C. Brown, V. M. Woods, D. A. E. Dobbelaere, and K. S. Logan, Infect. Immun. 61:3273-3281, 1993) to include F. hepatica-specific Th2 cells.

published proceedings

  • Infect Immun

author list (cited authors)

  • Brown, W. C., Davis, W. C., Dobbelaere, D. A., & Rice-Ficht, A. C.

citation count

  • 100

complete list of authors

  • Brown, WC||Davis, WC||Dobbelaere, DA||Rice-Ficht, AC

publication date

  • March 1994