Lymphocyte reactivity and its control was assessed in human hepatosplenic schistosomiasis, a disease in which host hypersensitivity may contribute to long-term morbidity. Antigen-and mitogen-induced incorporation of [3H]thymidine was evaluated in peripheral blood and splenic mononuclear cells of 15 patients at the time of splenectomy. The response to phytohemagglutinin (PHA) was depressed in the peripheral blood of 42% and in the spleen cells of 70% of these patients. Significant stimulation was noted, however, upon culture of blood with soluble schistosome egg antigen (SEA) in 80% and of spleen cells in 100% of the patients whose respective responses to PHA were depressed. The contribution of adherent cells to the overall response of mononuclear cells was evaluated by depletion techniques. A significant and specific decrease in the response of the resulting thymus-derived (T) lymphocyte-enriched splenic mononuclear cells to SEA was noted. These studies suggest preferential preservation of the response of circulating and splenic lymphocytes to SEA despite impairment. of PHA reactivity in human hepatosplenic schistosomiasis, which may be causally related to the advanced disease of this group of patients. Moreover, activity of helper adherent cells was consistently restricted to the splenic T-lymphocyte response induced by the specific antigen SEA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases
- Immunology and Allergy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health