Granuloma formation and modulation in schistosomiasis are a consequence of discrete subpopulations of T lymphocytes and the mediators they produce. In the present study, T cell clones reactive to soluble egg antigen (SEA) were developed to analyze the roles of T cells in Schistosoma mansoni egg-induced granuloma formation. In an in vitro granuloma assay, 1 X 10(5) T cells specifically augmented the response of 2 X 10(6) normal spleen cells to SEA-coupled but not purified protein derivative-coupled polyacrylamide beads. In vitro granulomatous responses by individual clones were correlated with their capacity to mediate local delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions in footpad swelling assays. Phenotypic analysis of the seven clones characterized in the present study demonstrated that they were L3T4+, Ly-2.2-. An analysis of supernatants of T cells pulsed with concanavalin A or SEA + antigen-presenting cells was also undertaken in an attempt to correlate in vitro granuloma formation with lymphokine production. Stimulated T cells (but not unstimulated T cells) produced interleukin 2, macrophage activating factor, migration inhibitory factor, and eosinophil stimulation promoter in response to both mitogenic and antigenic stimuli. The results suggest that individual clones of T cells are capable of producing a variety of mediators that influence their ability to activate and to recruit cells into granuloma formation. The model may be useful in the analysis of specific antigens and regulatory interactions and their contribution to granuloma formation.

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