Regulation of cell-mediated immunity in cryptococcosis. III. Characterization of second-order T suppressor cells (Ts2)

J. W. Murphy, R. L. Mosley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Frequently, patients with systemic cryptococcosis have depressed or absent in vivo or in vitro cell-mediated immune responses to cryptococcal antigen. In addition, these patients have relatively high levels of circulating cryptococcal antigen, which is generally considered indicative of a poor prognosis. Because acquired cell-mediated immunity is an important host defense mechanism in cryptococcosis, we have been studying the effects of cryptococcal antigen on such responses. Using a murine model, we have demonstrated that cryptococcal antigen given i.v. to CBA/J mice, to simulate antigen levels found in patients, can trigger the production of a series of suppressor cells that specifically inhibit anticryptococcal cell-mediated immune responses. Briefly, cryptococcal antigen induces afferent suppressor and/or suppressor inducer (Ts1) cells in the lymph nodes of mice, and the Ts1 cells, or a soluble factor derived therefrom (TsF1), stimulate the production of second-order or efferent suppressor (Ts2) cells. This report provides data that demonstrate that the Ts2 cells were induced in spleens from cyclophosphamide (Cy)-resistant precursors in response to cryptococcal Ts1 cells or TsF1 and that a proliferative process sensitive to Cy was not required for Ts2 induction. The Ts2 cells were detectable 6 days after Ts1 injection, were specific in suppressing the cryptococcal delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) response, were T cells with an Lyt-1-,2+,Ia+ (I-J+) phenotype, were effective only on the efferent limb of the cryptococcal DTH response, and mediated their activity via a soluble factor (TsF2). Thus far, the suppressive pathway induced by cryptococcal antigen has characteristics more like those of the suppressor circuits described for the DTH responses to the haptens azobenzenearsonate and 4-hydroxy-3-nitrophenyl acetyl than those of the modulating circuits induced by other antigens. We postulate that a suppressive circuit similar to the one we have defined in the mouse model is operating to suppress the in vivo and in vitro cell-mediated immune responses in cryptococcosis patients who have significant amounts of circulating cryptococcal antigen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-584
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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