Developmental differences determine larval susceptibility to nitric oxide-mediated killing in a murine model of vaccination against Schistosoma mansoni
Infection and Immunity
A persistent paradox in our understanding of protective immunity against Schistosoma mansoni infection in animals vaccinated with attenuated parasites has been that attrition of challenge parasites occurs during migration through the lungs in vivo, although parasites recovered from the lungs appear to be relatively resistant to cytotoxic effector mechanisms in vitro. We have compared the susceptibilities of different stages of larvae to killing by nitric oxide (NO), which was previously shown
... previously shown to be involved in the larvicidal function of cytokine-activated cytotoxic effector cells. Lung-stage larvae obtained 1 week after infection were not killed in vitro by NO generated either by a chemical NO donor or by activated cells. In contrast, parasites obtained from the portal system of control mice or from the lungs of vaccinated mice 2.5 weeks following challenge infection were killed by NO. As previously shown for mammalian cell targets, the effects of NO in susceptible larval stages may involve enzymes required for aerobic energy metabolism, since similar cytotoxicity was demonstrated by chemical inhibitors of the citric acid cycle or mitochondrial respiration. Taken together with previous observations of enhanced Th1 activity and expression of NO synthase in the lungs of vaccinated mice at 2.5 weeks after challenge infection, these observations elucidate the immune mechanism of vaccine-induced resistance to S. mansoni infection. Moreover, they suggest that conversion to a less metabolically active state may allow pathogens to escape the effects of the important effector molecule NO.