Characterizations of B lymphocyte responses during infection with African trypanosomes
Host control of Trypanosoma brucei infections relies on adequate B cell mediated responses including anti-VSG antibody responses. Trypanotolerant animals, namely; Cape buffalo maintain anti-trypanosome specific antibody responses throughout infection. Studies in mice, however; show a failure to maintain adequate antibody responses to trypanosomes as well as a failure to generate subsequent specific responses to antigens. T. brucei infections in mice result in the loss of mature conventional B cell subsets presumed to be important in host control of the parasites including marginal zone B cells and follicular B cells. Mature cell subset losses are coupled with plasma cell expansion early during infection. Mature B cell pools are not replenished as there is a loss of transitional cells due in part to higher levels of apoptosis and a failure to replenish these cells from bone marrow. B1 B cells appear to constitute the majority of plasma cells and resist infection induced losses to a greater extant than B2 B cells.