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Infect Immun. 1989 April; 57(4): 1158–1164.
PMCID: PMC313245

Effects of cyclosporin A on the cells responsible for the anticryptococcal cell-mediated immune response and its regulation.


Cyclosporin A (CsA), a potent immunosuppressive drug, was used to explore further the induction, expression, and regulation of lymphoid cells involved in the delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) response to cryptococcal antigen(s). We found that the induction of the cells responsible for DTH (TDH cells) was not affected by CsA, but their expression was inhibited in CsA-treated mice. The inhibition of expression of the TDH cells could not be attributed to the Cryptococcus neoformans-specific suppressor T (Ts) cells, even though the Ts cells were induced in CsA-treated mice. Instead, the suppressed expression of the TDH cells in CsA-treated mice was a direct effect of CsA or its products. Our studies with CsA also resulted in the first identification of a population of cells that significantly amplify the anticryptococcal DTH response. The amplifier cells were induced in mice that were given a primary immunizing dose of cryptococcal antigen in complete Freund adjuvant, and they amplified the anticryptococcal DTH response in recipient mice when they were transferred at the time of immunization of the recipient. The amplifier cell population was distinct from the TDH cells in that CsA inhibited the production of the amplifying cells but did not affect the induction of TDH cells. Amplification of the DTH response was a cell-mediated event, since cells but not serum from immunized mice mediated the amplified response in recipient mice. Thus, CsA enabled us to characterize anticryptococcal TDH and Ts cells further and to add to the immune cell circuit of the cryptococcal system a distinct population of cells that amplifies the anticryptococcal DTH response.

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