Preliminary studies on the effects of orally-administered Transforming Growth Factor-beta on protozoan diseases in mice.
Transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-beta1) is a pleiotropic cytokine with both pro- and antiinflammatory properties, depending on its environment and concentration. The present study evaluated the effects of orally-delivered TGF-beta1 on mice parenterally-infected with various protozoan parasites. We report that while orally-administered TGF-beta1 seems to confer partial protection against murine chronic babesiosis and acute trypanosomosis, no beneficial clinical effects were observed against acute babesiosis, malaria or toxoplasmosis. Taken together, these preliminary data suggest that the systemic effects conferred by exogenous TGF-beta1 could be parasite species-specific. The variations in different parasitic infections could be due to (i) intrinsic differences between parasite species and/or strains in their ability to induce production of immunosuppressive molecules and/or (ii) differences in mechanisms governing host protection against different parasitic infections.
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