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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 632436, 10 pages
Research Article

Treg Cells Induced by rSSP4 Derived from T. cruzi Amastigotes Increase Parasitemia in an Experimental Chagas Disease Model

1Departamento de Infectómica y Patogénesis Molecular, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, 07360 Mexico, DF, Mexico
2Unidad de Servicios Generales, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, 07360 Mexico City, DF, Mexico
3Departments of Microbiology and Pathology, Medical Center, The Ohio State University, Colombus, OH 43210, USA

Received 7 August 2012; Revised 20 October 2012; Accepted 29 October 2012

Academic Editor: Luis I. Terrazas

Copyright © 2013 Y. Flores-García et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Currently, there is a considerable controversy over the participation of Treg cells during Trypanosoma cruzi infection, the main point being whether these cells play a negative or a positive role. In this work, we found that the adoptive transfer of CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ T cells from rSSP4- (a recombinant Trypanosoma cruzi amastigote derived protein, previously shown to have immunomodulatory properties on macrophages) immunized BALB/c donors into syngenic recipients simultaneously with T. cruzi challenge reduces cardiac inflammation and prolongs hosts’ survival but increases blood parasitemia and parasite loads in the heart. These CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ Treg cells from immunized mice have a relatively TGF-β-dependent suppressive activity on CD4+ T cells. Therefore, regulatory CD4+CD25+ T cells play a positive role in the development of acute T. cruzi infection by inducing immunosuppressive activity that controls early cardiac inflammation during acute Chagas disease, prolonging survival, but at the same time promoting parasite growth.