Glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored mucin-like glycoproteins isolated from Trypanosoma cruzi trypomastigotes initiate the synthesis of proinflammatory cytokines by macrophages

Maristela M. Camargo, Igor C. Almeida, Maria E. S. Pereira, Michael A. J. Ferguson, Luiz R. Travassos, Ricardo T. Gazzinelli

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    Components of Trypanosoma cruzi able to induce the production of IL-12 and other proinflammatory cytokines by macrophages were identified, Murine inflammatory macrophages were cultured with live parasites or with cellular components from different developmental forms of T. cruzi (i.e., trypomastigotes, amastigotes, metacyclic trypomastigotes, and epimastigotes), and the cytokine levels were measured after 24 and 48 h. Our results indicate that live trypomastigotes or live amastigotes (but not five epimastigotes or live metacyclic trypomastigotes) as well as trypomastigote extracts (but not extracts derived from epimastigotes) induce IL-12 and TNF-a synthesis by macrophages. Such biological activity is enhanced in membrane preparations from trypomastigotes, Further enrichment of the trypomastigote-derived monokine-inducing factor was obtained by solvent extraction and hydrophobic-interaction chromatography, The resultant purified molecules are a family of closely related glycoconjugates with predominant species at 70 to 80 and 120 to 200 kDa. These molecules are composed of carbohydrate chains O-linked to a polypeptide backbone that is anchored to the trypomastigote membrane via a glycosylphosphatidylinositol structure. The trypomastigote-derived glycoconjugates are active in inducing cytokine synthesis by macrophages at concentrations of 100 ng/ml. These effects are highly potentiated by IFN-?. Mapping of the glycoconjugate molecules to characterize the structural requirements for macrophage activation suggested that nonsaturated acyl fatty acid chains and periodate-sensitive units from the glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor are important elements for the infective trypomastigote form to initiate cytokine synthesis by macrophages.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5890-5901
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Immunology
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 1997

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