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Clin Exp Immunol. 2010 May;160(2):266-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2009.04084.x. Epub 2010 Feb 2.

Schistosoma mansoni antigens modulate the allergic response in a murine model of ovalbumin-induced airway inflammation.

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Serviço de Imunologia, Hospital Universitário Prof Edgard Santos, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, BA, Brazil.


Schistosoma mansoni infection has been associated with protection against allergies. The mechanisms underlying this association may involve regulatory cells and cytokines. We evaluated the immune response induced by the S. mansoni antigens Sm22.6, PIII and Sm29 in a murine model of ovalbumin (OVA)-induced airway inflammation. BALB/c mice were sensitized with subcutaneously injected OVA-alum and challenged with aerolized OVA. Mice were given three doses of the different S. mansoni antigens. Lung histopathology, cellularity of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and eosinophil peroxidase activity in lung were evaluated. Immunoglobulin (Ig)E levels in serum and cytokines in BAL were also measured. Additionally, we evaluated the frequency of CD4+forkhead box P3 (FoxP3)+ T cells in cultures stimulated with OVA and the expression of interleukin (IL)-10 by these cells. The number of total cells and eosinophils in BAL and the levels of OVA-specific IgE were reduced in the immunized mice. Also, the levels of IL-4 and IL-5 in the BAL of mice immunized with PIII and Sm22.6 were decreased, while the levels of IL-10 were higher in mice immunized with Sm22.6 compared to the non-immunized mice. The frequency of CD4+FoxP3+ T cells was higher in the groups of mice who received Sm22.6, Sm29 and PIII, being the expression of IL-10 by these cells only higher in mice immunized with Sm22.6. We concluded that the S. mansoni antigens used in this study are able to down-modulate allergic inflammatory mediators in a murine model of airway inflammation and that the CD4+FoxP3+ T cells, even in the absence of IL-10 expression, might play an important role in this process.

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