Phenotypic and functional characteristics of T-lymphocytes during the course of infection with leishmania major
If used early in infection, prophylactic treatment with the immunomodulatory drug cyclosporin A of Leishmania ma'or infected Balb/c mice has been shown to enhance resistance of these mice to serious disease. It is thought that CsA treatment affects disease progression by altering the balance of specific T lymphocyte populations as well as the secretion of various cytokines. We have followed the levels of L3T4+ T cells, Ly-2+ T cells, and total T and B lymphocytes, as well as IL-4 in susceptible Balb/c mice, CsA-treated Balb/c mice, and naturally resistant C57B1/6 mice during the course of L. ma'or infection. The CsA-treated mice displayed a disease pattern similar to that of the C57B1/6 group throughout infection. Most importantly, CsA treatment appeared to inhibit IL-4 production early post infection in both spleen and lymph node, and also appeared to inhibit the dramatic early increase of L3T4+ (CD4+) T cells which is characteristic of the susceptible Balb/c mice.