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Infect Immun. 1991 January; 59(1): 29–35.
PMCID: PMC257701

Effects of Cryptococcus neoformans-specific suppressor T cells on the amplified anticryptococcal delayed-type hypersensitivity response.


Cell-mediated immunity is an important host resistance mechanism against Cryptococcus neoformans, the etiological agent of cryptococcosis. Previous studies from our laboratory have shown that the anticryptococcal cell-mediated immune response as measured by delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) is down-regulated by a cascade of antigen-specific T suppressor (Ts) cells. Recently, we have identified a population of CD4 T cells that up-regulate the anticryptococcal DTH response (Tamp cells). The Tamp cells are found in the spleens of donor mice at 6 days after immunization with cryptococcal antigen, and they amplify the anticryptococcal DTH response when transferred to syngeneic recipients at the time of immunization of the recipients. In this study, we determined the effects of C. neoformans-specific Ts cells on the induction of the Tamp cells in the Tamp cell-donor mice and on the induction and expression of the amplified anticryptococcal DTH response in the Tamp cell-recipient mice. When cryptococcal-specific Ts1 cells were given at the time of immunization of the Tamp cell-donor mice, induction of Tamp cells was inhibited. In contrast, when Ts1 cells were given at the time of adoptive transfer of Tamp cells, the recipients displayed amplified DTH responses, indicating that Ts1 cells do not affect the Tamp cells' function once the Tamp cells have been produced. C. neoformans-specific Ts2 cells given at the time of either immunization or footpad challenge of the Tamp cell-recipient mice did not alter, to any measurable extent, the amplified DTH response. These results indicate that in addition to amplifying the anticryptococcal DTH response, Tamp cells may protect the anticryptococcal TDH cells from suppression by C. neoformans-specific Ts cells, much like contrasuppressor cells do in other systems. However, further characterization of the Tamp cells revealed that they are not adherent to Viscia villosa lectin, indicating that the anticryptococcal Tamp cells do not have this characteristic in common with contrasuppressor cells of other antigen systems.

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Selected References

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