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Malaria impairs T cell clustering and immune priming despite normal signal 1 from dendritic cells

Millington, Owain R. and Gibson, Vivienne B. and Rush, Catherine M. and Zinselmeyer, Bernd H. and Phillips, R. Stephen and Garside, Paul and Brewer, James M. (2007) Malaria impairs T cell clustering and immune priming despite normal signal 1 from dendritic cells. PLOS Pathogens, 3 (10). ISSN 1553-7366

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Abstract

Interactions between antigen-presenting dendritic cells (DCs) and T cells are essential for the induction of an immune response. However, during malaria infection, DC function is compromised and immune responses against parasite and heterologous antigens are reduced. Here, we demonstrate that malaria infection or the parasite pigment hemozoin inhibits T cell and DC interactions both in vitro and in vivo, while signal 1 intensity remains unaltered. This altered cellular behaviour is associated with the suppression of DC costimulatory activity and functional T cell responses, potentially explaining why immunity is reduced during malaria infection.