Polyamines are essential for proliferation of Trypanosoma brucei brucei, and feeding rats polyamine-deficient chow (PDC) decreases their blood polyamine concentrations. Proliferation of T. b. brucei (IL-tat 1.4 strain) (IL) is not restrained within PDC-fed rats. However, symptoms of IL-infected rats such as anemia decrease by PDC feeding. We reported cytokine and nitric oxide (NO) production of T. b. gambiense (Wellcome strain [WS])–infected rats were affected by PDC feeding, and WS proliferation was restrained. Therefore, we investigated whether the change in production of cytokines and NO by PDC feeding affects IL proliferation and decreases symptoms in vivo. In IL-infected PDC-fed rats, NO, interleukin (IL)-12, and tumor necrosis factor-α production increased while interferon-γ and IL-10 decreased compared to normal chow-fed rats. IL proliferation was restrained by NO production when it was co-cultured with spleen cells harvested from uninfected rats. In contrast, IL proliferation in infected rats was not changed by PDC feeding, although NO production was increased. The results suggest that changes in cytokines and NO production in IL-infected rats by PDC feeding have little influence on IL proliferation. However, they may serve to decrease symptoms.

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