Multiple exposures of chimpanzees to the radiation-attenuated schistosome vaccine provoked a strong parasite-specific cellular and humoral immune response. Specific IgM and IgG were directed mainly against glycans on antigens released by cercariae; these were also cross-reactive with soluble antigens from larvae, adult worms, and eggs. Egg deposition was the major antigenic stimulus after challenge of vaccinated and control chimpanzees with normal parasites, eliciting strong antiglycan responses to egg secretions. Glycan epitopes recognized included LacdiNAc, fucosylated LacdiNAc, Lewis(X) (weakly), and those on keyhole limpet hemocyanin. Antibodies to peptide epitopes became prominent only during the chronic phase of infection, as glycan-specific IgM and IgG decreased. Because of their intensity and cross-reactivity, the antiglycan responses resulting from infection could be a smoke screen to subvert the immune system away from more vulnerable larval peptide epitopes. Their occurrence in humans might explain the long time required for antischistosome immunity to build up after infection.
Selectins mediate rolling of leukocytes by rapid formation and dissociation of selectin-ligand bonds, which are assumed to require high mechanical strength to prevent premature dissociation by the forces applied in shear flow. This assumption is based largely on the observation that increasing wall shear stress increases only modestly the dissociation of transient leukocyte tethers on very low selectin densities. P-selectin binds to the N-terminal region of P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL-1), a mucin on leukocytes. Both PSGL-1 and P-selectin are extended homodimers. We perfused transfected cells expressing wild-type dimeric PSGL-1 or a chimeric monomeric form of PSGL-1 on immobilized dimeric or monomeric forms of P-selectin. Cells expressing dimeric or monomeric PSGL-1 tethered to P-selectin at equivalent rates. However, cells expressing dimeric PSGL-1 established more stable rolling adhesions, which were more shear resistant and exhibited less fluctuation in rolling velocities. On low densities of dimeric P-selectin, increasing wall shear stress more rapidly increased transient tether dissociation of cells expressing monomeric PSGL-1 than dimeric PSGL-1. Tether dissociation on low densities of monomeric P-selectin was even more shear sensitive. We conclude that dimerization of both PSGL-1 and P-selectin stabilizes tethering and rolling, probably by increasing rebinding within a bond cluster. Because transient tethers may have more than one bond, the mechanical strength of selectin-ligand bonds is likely to be lower than initially estimated. Tether strength may rely more on bond clusters to distribute applied force.