Immunopathology of giardiasis: the role of lymphocytes in intestinal epithelial injury and malfunction|
T lymphocyte-mediated pathogenesis is common to a variety of enteropathies, including giardiasis, cryptosporidiosis, bacterial enteritis, celiac's disease, food anaphylaxis, and Crohn's disease. In giardiasis as well as in these other disorders, a diffuse loss of microvillous brush border, combined or not with villus atrophy, is responsible for disaccharidase insufficiencies and malabsorption of electrolytes, nutrients, and water, which ultimately cause diarrheal symptoms. Other mucosal changes may include crypt hyperplasia and increased infiltration of intra-epithelial lymphocytes. Recent studies using models of giardiasis have shed new light on the immune regulation of these abnormalities. Indeed, experiments using an athymic mouse model of infection have found that these epithelial injuries were T cell-dependent. Findings from further research indicate that that the loss of brush border surface area, reduced disaccharidase activities, and increase crypt-villus ratios are mediated by CD8+ T cells, whereas both CD8+ and CD4+ small mesenteric lymph node T cells regulate the influx of intra-epithelial lymphocytes. Future investigations need to characterize the CD8+ T cell signaling cascades that ultimately lead to epithelial injury and malfunction in giardiasis and other malabsorptive disorders of the intestine.
giardiasis - lymphocytes - epithelial - malabsorption - intestinal disease