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Eur J Immunol. 2007 Jul;37(7):1887-904.

Impairment of dendritic cell function by excretory-secretory products: a potential mechanism for nematode-induced immunosuppression.

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Centre for the Study of Host Resistance, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, McGill University, Montreal, Qu├ębec, Canada.


To determine whether helminth-derived products modulate dendritic cell (DC) function, we investigated the effects of excretory-secretory products (ES) and adult worm homogenate (AWH) derived from the gastrointestinal nematode Heligmosomoides polygyrus (Hp) on murine bone marrow-derived DC (BMDC). Compared to the TLR9 ligand CpG, Hp-derived products alone failed to induce DC activation. ES, but not AWH, inhibited BMDC cytokine and chemokine production and co-stimulatory molecule expression (CD40, CD86 and MHC class II) induced by TLR ligation. TLR ligand-independent, PMA-induced DC activation was unaffected by ES. Recipients of ES-treated BMDC pulsed with OVA had suppressed Ab responses in vivo, irrespective of the Th1 or Th2 isotype affiliation, compared to recipients of control OVA-pulsed BMDC. Importantly, suppression occurred even in the presence of the potent type 1 adjuvant CpG. In contrast to untreated OVA-pulsed BMDC, ES-treated BMDC pulsed with OVA had reduced co-stimulatory molecule and cytokine expression. CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(-) T cells, which secreted high IL-10 levels, were generated in co-cultures of OT-II OVA-specific TCR-transgenic CD4(+) T cells and ES-treated BMDC. These IL-10-secreting T cells suppressed effector CD4(+) T cell proliferation and IFN-gamma production, the latter effect mediated by an IL-10-dependent mechanism. Together, these results demonstrate that nematode ES impaired DC function and suppressed both Th1 and Th2 adaptive immune responses possibly by inducing regulatory T cells.

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