The interleukin (IL)-2R alpha chain (CD25) is expressed on regulatory T cells (Treg), which constitute more than 85% of the CD25+
T cell population in a naïve mouse. CD25 is also expressed on effector T cells in mice suffering from an acute infection by the obligate intracellular protozoan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii
. Lethal toxoplasmosis is accompanied by a significant loss of Treg in mice naturally susceptible to toxoplasmosis. The present study was done to explore the role of Treg cells using an anti-CD25 antibody-mediated depletion in mice naturally resistant to toxoplasmosis. Although a significant decrease in the percentage of Treg cells was observed following anti-CD25 monoclonal antibody injections, the depletion of CD25+
cells during acute toxoplasmosis did not significantly increase the mortality of Swiss OF1 mice and no significant difference was observed in the brain parasitic load between the mice in the depleted-infected and isotype-infected groups. We found no significant difference between the titres of total IgG in the sera of the mice from the two groups in the chronic phase. However, CD25+
cells depletion was followed by significantly higher levels of IL-12 in the serum of depleted mice than in that of mice injected with the isotype control antibody.