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Nat Med. 2006 Aug;12(8):955-60. Epub 2006 Jul 30.

Memory T(H)2 cells induce alternatively activated macrophages to mediate protection against nematode parasites.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, New Jersey Medical School, 185 S. Orange Avenue, Newark, New Jersey 07103, USA.


Although primary and memory responses against bacteria and viruses have been studied extensively, T helper type 2 (T(H)2) effector mechanisms leading to host protection against helminthic parasites remain elusive. Examination of the intestinal epithelial submucosa of mice after primary and secondary infections by a natural gastrointestinal parasite revealed a distinct immune-cell infiltrate after challenge, featuring interleukin-4-expressing memory CD4(+) T cells that induced IL-4 receptor(hi) (IL-4R(hi)) CD206(+) alternatively activated macrophages. In turn, these alternatively activated macrophages (AAMacs) functioned as important effector cells of the protective memory response contributing to parasite elimination, demonstrating a previously unknown mechanism for host protection against intestinal helminths.

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