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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2008 Dec;1149:170-3. doi: 10.1196/annals.1428.079.

Cytokine response in the intestinal mucosa of hamsters infected with Taenia solium.

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  • 1Departamento de Microbiología y Parasitología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México City, México.


Taenia solium grows in experimentally infected hamsters. An inflammatory reaction in the intestinal mucosa surrounding the scolex of the worms is produced. We searched for mRNA of Th1 and Th2 cytokines by in situ hybridization in intestinal biopsies. Hamsters were infected with T. solium cysticerci and necropsied on different days post infection (d.p.i.). Tissue from the small intestine was taken from the area surrounding the tapeworm scolex, fixed, and processed for histology. Antisense probes for the detection of interferon (IFN)-gamma, interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, and IL-13 were used. Kinetics of each cytokine was defined through detection on specific mRNA by counting the number of positive infected hamsters and of positive cells per 100 enterocytes on different d.p.i. IFN-gamma was detected as of d.p.i. 2; all animals were positive on d.p.i. 4 and 8; and on d.p.i. 16, only 20% were still positive. IL-13 had a pattern similar to IFN-gamma, but all hamsters remained positive until d.p.i. 16 when the experiment was terminated. IL-4 was positive in 40% of infected hamsters on d.p.i. 6. On d.p.i. 8, IL-5 was only detected in 20% but increased to 100% by d.p.i. 16. These data suggest that tapeworms induce a mixed Th1/Th2 response with a polarization toward Th2 at 2 weeks post infection, which may influence the expulsion of worms.

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