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Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2007 Apr;7(1):56-61.

Modulation of anaphylaxis by helminth-derived products in animal models.

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Laboratory of Immunopathology, Butantan Institute, Av. Vital Brazil 1500, 05503-900 São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


Helminths have a profound immunomodulatory effect upon the inductive and effector phases of inflammatory responses, including allergy. Several animal models of anaphylaxis have been established to investigate the mechanisms by which helminth infections or helminth-derived products interfere with the onset of allergic reactions. The focus of our studies was the immunosuppression induced by the intestinal roundworm Ascaris suum in the production of anaphylactic antibodies and the development of lung eosinophilic inflammation and hyperreactivity to its own allergens and to unrelated antigens. Thus, we identified a single protein affinity purified from the A. suum body extract, named PAS-1, which maintains all its immunosuppressive properties and promotes a significant increase in interleukin-10 production, an essential cytokine for the effectiveness of the suppressive mechanism. In addition, PAS-1 primes for regulatory T cells, which also mediate this mechanism. Therefore, this helminth molecule may be a promising target for therapeutic applications in allergic disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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