Previous work has shown that human donors vary in the magnitude and pattern of cytokines induced when peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) are co-cultured with Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes. Whether P. falciparum strains vary in their ability to induce cytokines has not been studied in detail and is an important question, because variation in cytokine induction could affect parasite virulence and patterns of clinical disease. We investigated the early inflammatory cytokine response to four P. falciparum laboratory strains and five field isolates. Initial studies showed that parasite strain, parasitaemia and PBMC donor all had significant effects on the magnitude of pro-inflammatory cytokine responses (IFN-gamma, GM-CSF, IL-1 beta, TNF-alpha, IL-6, P <0.005 in all cases). However, we noticed that the most highly inducing parasite strain consistently reached schizont rupture more rapidly than the other strains. When timing of schizont rupture was taken into account, parasite strains no longer differed in their cytokine induction (P = 0.383), although donor effects remained significant (P <0.001). These data do not support the hypothesis that P. falciparum strains vary in induction of early innate cytokine responses from PBMCs, and instead are consistent with the suggestion that conserved parasite products such as haemozoin or GPI-anchors are the parasite-derived stimuli for cytokine induction.
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - 9 Jun 2010|