Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Document Type



C3H mice that have been infected with a Brazil strain of Trypanosoma cruzi and maintained at an elevated environmental temperature of 36°C survive an otherwise lethal infection. These mice show increased longevity and a dramatic increase in parasitemia levels. In contrast, C3H mice maintained at room temperature typically experience high parasitemia levels and die within 40 days of infection. Previous studies in the laboratory suggest cell-mediated immune responses rather than antibody-mediated responses are responsible for the enhances protection. The goal of the present study was to analyze cytokine synthesis and nitric oxide production in spleen cells from mice infected with 104 blood-form trypomastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi and maintained either at room temperature or 36°C for 36 days. On day 36 of infection, mice were anesthetized. Blood was obtained by a cardiac puncture, and spleens were removed aseptically. A single cell suspension was prepared, and cells were diluted to a final concentration of 6 X 106 SC/ml. Spleen cells were incubated with or without concavalin A for 60 hours. Culture supernatants were analyzed for nitric oxide production using the Griess reaction; IFN-γ and IL-10 synthesis were measured by an antigen-capture ELISA. Results showed culture supernatants obtained from room-temperature mice had higher levels of nitric oxide and IFN-γ than mice maintained at 36°C. Levels of IL-10 were similar in both groups.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Cheryl Davis, Ph.D.


Immunology and Infectious Disease | Parasitology

Included in

Parasitology Commons