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Induction of CD4+CD8+ double positive T cells and increase in CD5+ B cells in efferent lymph in sheep infected with Trypanosoma evansi

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Hopkins, J.; Luckins, A.G.; Ohah, D.N.

The effects of Trypanosoma evansi on efferent lymphocyte phenotypes draining from a lymph node primed with Pasteurella haemolytica vaccine were studied in sheep. The prefemoral efferent lymphatic ducts of the infected sheep along with those of two uninfected sheep were surgically cannulated. Lymph was collected and lymphocytes recovered from it analysed by two-colour indirect immunofluorescence staining and cytofluoremetry in a fluorescence activated cell analyser (FACSCAN). The study showed the appearance and persistence of T. evansi in the efferent lymph for a long period of time and the appearance of CD4+CD8+ (double positive, DP) T lymphocytes in the efferent lymph of infected animals. The infection also resulted in increases in CD5+ B cells in the prefemoral efferent lymph. In addition, there were decreases in the output of conventional B cells, CD5+ and CD4+ T cell subsets but large increases in CD8+ cells followed by terminal depletion of all cell subsets. In contrast, inoculation of sheep with pasteurella vaccine antigen alone produced little alterations in the proportions, but large increases in the numbers of all T cell subsets except that of CD8+ cells which also showed little variation; and there was a concurrent increase in the numbers and proportions of efferent B cells. In addition, the abnormal expression of DP and CD5+ B cells did not occur in the uninfected vaccinated sheep. It is concluded that these abnormal changes in the kinetics of efferent lymphocyte phenotypes are likely to play a role in the genesis of the generalized immunosuppression seen in trypanosome-infected hosts.