Direct processing and presentation of antigen from malaria sporozoites by professional antigen-presenting cells in the induction of CD8 T-cell responses.
Plebanski M., Hannan CM., Behboudi S., Flanagan KL., Apostolopoulos V., Sinden RE., Hill AVS.
Irradiated malaria sporozoites induce better protection than viable untreated sporozoites. We observed early differences between irradiated and viable untreated sporozoites in priming responses in vivo to a protective CD8 T-cell epitope, pb9, of the circumsporozoite protein of Plasmodium berghei. Sporozoites were processed for MHC class I presentation by dendritic cells (DC) to prime pb9-specific IFN-gamma-producing CD8 T cells. DC pulsed with untreated and irradiated sporozoites were similarly capable of priming central memory T-cell responses, detectable by the IFN-gamma cultured ELISPOT assay. However, irradiation significantly enhanced sporozoites' ability to prime effector T-cell responses detectable by the IFN-gammaex vivo ELISPOT assay. Irradiation also enhanced the ability of splenic APC to process and present sporozoites in order to re-stimulate pb9-specific polyclonal and clonal T-cell responses. Sporozoites did not stimulate T cells in the absence of APC. Over-irradiation decreased the sporozoites' T-cell stimulating capacity in vitro at high parasite doses, which may indicate that an optimal irradiation dose is necessary to induce protective immunity by sporozoite inoculation. The induction of sporozoite-specific CD8 T-cell responses without the need for liver stage infection identifies a potentially important mechanism in the development of pre-erythrocytic immunity.