The glutamate-rich protein (GLURP) is an exoantigen expressed in all stages of the Plasmodium falciparum
life cycle in humans. Anti-GLURP antibodies can inhibit parasite growth in the presence of monocytes via antibody-dependent cellular inhibition (ADCI), and a major parasite-inhibitory region has been found in the N-terminal R0 region of the protein. Herein, we describe the antiplasmodial activity of anti-GLURP antibodies present in the sera from individuals naturally exposed to malaria in a Brazilian malaria-endemic area. The anti-R0 antibodies showed a potent inhibitory effect on the growth of P. falciparum
in vitro, both in the presence (ADCI) and absence (GI) of monocytes. The inhibitory effect on parasite growth was comparable to the effect of IgGs purified from pooled sera from hyperimmune African individuals. Interestingly, in the ADCI test, higher levels of tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) were observed in the supernatant from cultures with higher parasitemias. Our data suggest that the antibody response induced by GLURP-R0 in naturally exposed individuals may have an important role in controlling parasitemia because these antibodies are able to inhibit the in vitro growth of P. falciparum
with or without the cooperation from monocytes. Our results also indicate that TNF-a may not be relevant for the inhibitory effect on P. falciparum
in vitro growth.