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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2019

Authors: Lagler, J; Mitra, T; Schmidt, S; Pierron, A; Vatzia, E; Stadler, M; Hammer, SE; Mair, KH; Grafl, B; Wernsdorf, P; Rauw, F; Lambrecht, B; Liebhart, D; Gerner, W

Title: Cytokine production and phenotype of Histomonas meleagridis-specific T cells in the chicken.

Source: Vet Res. 2019; 50(1):107

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Gerner Wilhelm
Grafl Beatrice
Hammer Sabina
Lagler Julia
Liebhart Dieter
Mair Kerstin
Mitra Taniya
Pierron Alix
Schmidt Selma
Stadler Maria
Vatzia Eleni
Wernsdorf Patricia

Vetmed Research Units
University Clinic for Poultry and Fish Medicine, Clinical Unit of Poultry Medicine
Institute of Immunology

Project(s): Phenotype and cytokine production of Histomonas meleagridis-specific T cells isolated from chickens and turkeys infected with the parasite or vaccinated against histomonosis

The protozoan parasite Histomonas meleagridis is the causative agent of the re-emerging disease histomonosis of chickens and turkeys. Due to the parasite's extracellular occurrence, a type-2 differentiation of H. meleagridis-specific T cells has been hypothesized. In contrast, a recent study suggested that IFN-γ mRNA+ cells are involved in protection against histomonosis. However, the phenotype and cytokine production profile of H. meleagridis-specific T cells still awaits elucidation. In this work, clonal cultures of a virulent monoxenic strain of H. meleagridis were used for infecting chickens to detect IFN-γ protein and IL-13 mRNA by intracellular cytokine staining and PrimeFlow™ RNA Assays, respectively, in CD4+ and CD8β+ T cells. Infection was confirmed by characteristic pathological changes in the cecum corresponding with H. meleagridis detection by immunohistochemistry and H. meleagridis-specific antibodies in serum. In splenocytes stimulated either with H. meleagridis antigen or PMA/ionomycin, IFN-γ-producing CD4+ T cells from infected chickens increased in comparison to cells from non-infected birds 2 weeks and 5 weeks post-infection. Additionally, an increase of IFN-γ-producing CD4-CD8β- cells upon H. meleagridis antigen and PMA/ionomycin stimulation was detected. Contrariwise, frequencies of IL-13 mRNA-expressing cells were low even after PMA/ionomycin stimulation and mainly had a CD4-CD8β- phenotype. No clear increase of IL-13+ cells related to H. meleagridis infection could be found. In summary, these data suggest that H. meleagridis infection induces a type-1 differentiation of CD4+ T cells but also of non-CD4+ cells. This phenotype could include γδ T cells, which will be addressed in future studies.

Keywords Pubmed: Animals
Poultry Diseasesimmunologyparasitology
Protozoan Infections, Animalimmunologyparasitology

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