Plasmodium genetic loci linked to host cytokine and chemokine responses

S. Pattaradilokrat, J. Li, J. Wu, Y. Qi, R. T. Eastman, M. Zilversmit, S. C. Nair, M. C. Huaman, M. Quinones, H. Jiang, N. Li, J. Zhu, K. Zhao, O. Kaneko, C. A. Long, X. Z. Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Both host and parasite factors contribute to disease severity of malaria infection; however, the molecular mechanisms responsible for the disease and the host-parasite interactions involved remain largely unresolved. To investigate the effects of parasite factors on host immune responses and pathogenesis, we measured levels of plasma cytokines/chemokines (CCs) and growth rates in mice infected with two Plasmodium yoelii strains having different virulence phenotypes and in progeny from a genetic cross of the two parasites. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis linked levels of many CCs, particularly IL-1β, IP-10, IFN-γ, MCP-1 and MIG, and early parasite growth rate to loci on multiple parasite chromosomes, including chromosomes 7, 9, 10, 12 and 13. Comparison of the genome sequences spanning the mapped loci revealed various candidate genes. The loci on chromosomes 7 and 13 had significant (P<0.005) additive effects on IL-1β, IL-5 and IP-10 responses, and the chromosome 9 and 12 loci had significant (P=0.017) interaction. Infection of knockout mice showed critical roles of MCP-1 and IL-10 in parasitemia control and host mortality. These results provide important information for a better understanding of malaria pathogenesis and can be used to examine the role of these factors in human malaria infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-152
Number of pages8
JournalGenes and Immunity
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • chemokine
  • cytokine
  • genetic mapping
  • inflammation
  • pathogenesis
  • virulence


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