T cell responses in the brain during experimental cerebral malaria infection

Project Details

Activated CD8 T cells play a critical role in murine experimental cerebral malaria associated with Plasmodium berghei infection. The mechanism underlying cerebral malaria pathogenesis is not well understood. To address this, we have developed a novel system to image the brain in live animals undergoing malarial infection using 2-photon laser scanning microscopy (Movie 1). This allows temporal assessment of the immune response  occurring in the brain. Using tools including TCR transgenic mice generated by the Heath group, we are examining the role of malaria-specific CD8 T cells in disease.

Movie 1: Dynamic migration of CD8+ T cells in the brain after Plasmodium berghei infection. Antigen-specific pBT-I CD8+ T cells (red) migrating within brain blood vessels (blue) during infection with GFP-expressing parasites (green).