Investigation of cell mediated immunity to malaria

Yawalak Panpisutchai (2009). Investigation of cell mediated immunity to malaria PhD Thesis, The School of Population Health, The University of Queensland.

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Author Yawalak Panpisutchai
Thesis Title Investigation of cell mediated immunity to malaria
School, Centre or Institute The School of Population Health
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2009-08
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Professor Michael Good
Dr. Alberto Pinzon-Charry
Mr. Darren Pickering
Total pages 179
Total colour pages 4
Total black and white pages 175
Subjects 320000 Medical and Health Sciences
Abstract/Summary Malaria is a life-threatening parasitic disease endemic throughout the world. Control methods for malaria are becoming less reliable; thus, efforts to develop a safe and effective vaccine are critical. Immunity to malaria requires both cell- and humoral-mediated immunity, CMI and HMI, respectively. CD4+ T cells play a central role in protection against blood stage Plasmodium infection. Given that clinical features of malaria are caused by blood stages, a vaccine against this stage will be very effective in reducing morbidity and mortality. During the blood stage, purine nucleotides, which are essential for parasites’ survival and proliferation, are in high demand. The inability of the parasite to engage in de novo synthesis of purine nucleotides makes the enzyme hypoxanthine guanine xanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGXPRT) an essential nutrient salvage enzyme. HGXPRT is located in electron-dense regions in merozoites and in vesicles in the red cell cytoplasm. In contrast to other blood stage antigens, those located on the merozoite surface are targets of HMI. To advance HGXPRT as a malaria vaccine candidate, fermentation and purification of the protein from Plasmodium falciparum (PfHGXPRT) was performed using facilities at Q-Gen, the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR). Escherichia coli carrying PfHGXPRT gene were a gift in-kind from the University of Queensland (UQ). Recombinant PfHGXPRT expressed in E.coli was purified using anion exchange liquid chromatography and gel filtration techniques. Three methods were used to confirm the Q-Gen PfHGXPRT identity: (1) Western blotting showing identical bands of UQ PfHGXPRT and Q-Gen PfHGXPRT at 26 kDa; (2) N terminal sequencing was compatible with the PfHGXPRT sequence; and (3) mass spectrometry showed homogeneity by giving a subunit molecular mass of 26,231 Da. The purification method used is reproducible and affordable, yielding reasonably pure protein for animal experimentation. Following purification of PfHGXPRT, its efficacy as a subunit vaccine candidate in a rodent model of infection was examined. Multiple rodent models of malaria infection were assessed and it was determined that Plasmodium chabaudi AS (P. chabaudi AS) exhibited the highest cross-reactivity against PfHGXPRT in mice. Hence, P. chabaudi AS was chosen as the appropriate rodent model for study in this thesis. Natural immunity against PfHGXPRT during a blood stage P. chabaudi AS infection was assessed by testing sera and splenocyte responses to PfHGXPRT. IFN- and IL-4, as well as antibodies specific for PfHGXPRT, could be detected after infection, suggesting that PfHGXPRT is a target of natural immunity during the blood stage infection. Therefore, further studies of protective immunity generated by immunisation with PfHGXPRT were conducted, specifically to determine their protective efficacy and to determine immune mechanisms elicited by immunisation. Mice immunised with PfHGXPRT and challenged with P. chabaudi AS developed a slightly reduced parasitaemia. T-cell proliferation, but not antibody responses, was detected after immunisation. Protective mechanism(s) were assessed by adoptively transferring immune CD4+ T cells, B cells or sera to naïve SCID mice followed by parasite challenge. Only recipients of immune CD4+ T cells showed extended survival. Nevertheless, immunisation with PfHGXPRT followed by sub-patent infection induced better protection than immunisation with PfHGXPRT alone, which appeared to be related to CD4+ T cells. Reduction of parasitaemia, as well as augmentation of T cell proliferation and IFN-γ production, was evident in PfHGXPRT and sub-patent infected immunised mice. Recipients of CD4+ T cells from PfHGXPRT and sub-patent infection immune mice also showed some degree of protective immunity. PfHGXPRT was shown to induce natural and acquired immunity to P. chabaudi AS. HGXPRT is highly conserved in parasites and humans; therefore, it is essential to define minimal protective epitopes that could be included in a vaccine. Hence, 22 overlapping peptides (termed P1 P22) corresponding to the entire P. chabaudi AS HGPRT sequence were used to define minimal protective epitopes. Following immunisation of mice with seven pools of peptides (P1 P3, P4 P6, P7 P9, P10 P12, P13 P15, P16 P18 and P19 P22), three immunogenic peptides (P11, P13, and P17), which stimulated significant proliferative and IFN-γ responses were chosen for immunisation studies. Peptide P9 (position 76-95 from N-terminal), which induced the highest IFN- levels during P. chabaudi AS infection was also included in the pool of peptides. Mice immunised with P9, P11, P13 and P17 had significantly decreased parasitaemia. Antibody mediated immunity had a partial effect on suppressing parasite growth. CMI, on the contrary, played a central role in adoptively transferred protection by significantly reducing parasitaemia and prolonging survival of recipient SCID mice. Strong T cell proliferation and IFN- secretion were also detected after stimulation of splenocytes from immune mice with P. chabaudi AS antigen. CMI response was significantly increased after immunisation with the peptides followed by sub-patent infection. The findings that four short epitopes of HG(X)PRT confer strong CMI protection suggest that homologues of such epitopes could be included in a multi-component malaria vaccine.
Keyword malaria
malaria vaccine
cell mediated immunity
purine salvage enzyme
Additional Notes 24,58,59,60

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Created: Thu, 20 Aug 2009, 19:02:22 EST by Ms Yawalak Panpisutchai on behalf of Library - Information Access Service