Malaria remains one of the world’s most significant human infectious diseases and cerebral malaria (CM) is its most deadly complication. CM pathogenesis remains incompletely understood, hindering the development of therapeutics to prevent this lethal complication. Elevated levels of the chemokine CXCL10 are a biomarker for CM, and CXCL10 and its receptor CXCR3 are required for experimental CM (ECM) in mice, but their role has remained unclear. Using multiphoton intravital microscopy, CXCR3 receptor– and ligand–deficient mice and bone marrow chimeric mice, we demonstrate a key role for endothelial cell–produced CXCL10 in inducing the firm adhesion of T cells and preventing their cell detachment from the brain vasculature. Using a CXCL9 and CXCL10 dual-CXCR3-ligand reporter mouse, we found that CXCL10 was strongly induced in the brain endothelium as early as 4 days after infection, while CXCL9 and CXCL10 expression was found in inflammatory monocytes and monocyte-derived DCs within the blood vasculature on day 8. The induction of both CXCL9 and CXCL10 was completely dependent on IFN-γ receptor signaling. These data demonstrate that IFN-γ–induced, endothelium-derived CXCL10 plays a critical role in mediating the T cell–endothelial cell adhesive events that initiate the inflammatory cascade that injures the endothelium and induces the development of ECM.


Elizabeth W. Sorensen, Jeffrey Lian, Aleksandra J. Ozga, Yoshishige Miyabe, Sophina W. Ji, Shannon K. Bromley, Thorsten R. Mempel, Andrew D. Luster


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