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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Jan 18;97(2):767-72.

Anti-IL-9 vaccination prevents worm expulsion and blood eosinophilia in Trichuris muris-infected mice.

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Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Brussels Branch, B-1200-Brussels, Belgium.


Production of neutralizing anti-IL-9 antibodies was induced in mice by immunization with mouse IL-9 coupled to ovalbumin. In the six mouse strains tested, a strong and long-lasting anti-IL-9 response developed with seric inhibitory titers of 10(-3) to 10(-5), as measured in an in vitro IL-9-dependent cell proliferation assay. In vivo, this immunization completely abrogated the increase in mast-cell protease-1 levels as well as the eosinophilia observed in mice after implantation of an IL-9-secreting tumor. We took advantage of this method to assess the role of IL-9 in infections with nematode Trichuris muris, where IL-9 production correlates with the resistant phenotype. C57BL/6 mice, which normally expel the parasite, became susceptible after anti-IL-9 immunization, demonstrating that IL-9 plays a critical role in this model. In addition, neutralization of IL-9 also inhibited parasite-induced blood eosinophilia. Taken together, the present data demonstrate the potency of our strategy to antagonize IL-9 in vivo and shows that this cytokine plays a major role in resistance against T. muris infection.

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