Blocking of CD1d Decreases Trypanosoma cruzi–Induced Activation of CD4−CD8− T Cells and Modulates the Inflammatory Response in Patients With Chagas Heart Disease

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Abstract

The control of inflammatory responses to prevent the deadly cardiac pathology in human Chagas disease is a desirable and currently unattained goal. Double-negative (DN) T cells are important sources of inflammatory and antiinflammatory cytokines in patients with Chagas heart disease and those with the indeterminate clinical form of Chagas disease, respectively. Given the importance of DN T cells in immunoregulatory processes and their potential as targets for controlling inflammation-induced pathology, we studied the involvement of CD1 molecules in the activation and functional profile of Trypanosoma cruzi–specific DN T cells. We observed that parasite stimulation significantly increased the expression of CD1a, CD1b, CD1c, and CD1d by CD14+ cells from patients with Chagas disease. Importantly, among the analyzed molecules, only CD1d expression showed an association with the activation of DN T cells, as well as with worse ventricular function in patients with Chagas disease. Blocking of CD1d-mediated antigen presentation led to a clear reduction of DN T-cell activation and a decrease in the expression of interferon γ (IFN-γ) by DN T cells. Thus, our results showed that antigen presentation via CD1d is associated with activation of DN T cells in Chagas disease and that CD1d blocking leads to downregulation of IFN-γ by DN T cells from patients with Chagas heart disease, which may be a potential target for preventing progression of inflammation-mediated dilated cardiomyopathy.

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