Primed Peritoneal B Lymphocytes Are Sufficient To Transfer Protection against Brugia pahangi Infection in Mice.

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Infect Immun 2003 Mar;71(3):1370-8.


Lymphatic filariasis is a tropical disease caused by the nematode parasites Wuchereria bancrofti and Brugia malayi. Whereas the protective potential of T lymphocytes in filarial infection is well documented, investigation of the role of B lymphocytes in antifilarial immunity has been neglected. In this communication, we examine the role of B lymphocytes in antifilarial immunity, using Brugia pahangi infections in the murine peritoneal cavity as a model. We find that B lymphocytes are required for clearance of primary and challenge infections with B. pahangi third-stage larvae (L3). We assessed the protective potential of peritoneal B lymphocytes by adoptive transfer experiments. Primed but not naive peritoneal B cells from wild-type mice that had been immunized with B. pahangi L3 protected athymic recipients from challenge infection. We evaluated possible mechanisms by which B cells mediate protection. Comparisons of cytokine mRNA expression between B-lymphocyte-deficient and immunocompetent mice following B. pahangi infection suggest that B cells are required for the early production of Th2-type cytokines by peritoneal cells. In addition, B-cell-deficient mice demonstrate a defect in inflammatory cell recruitment to the peritoneal cavity following B. pahangi infection. The data demonstrate a critical role of B lymphocytes in antifilarial immunity in naive mice and in the memory response in primed mice.