Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Parasitol Res. 2011 Jun;108(6):1347-54. doi: 10.1007/s00436-010-2028-2. Epub 2010 Sep 1.

Strong expression of TGF-beta in human host tissues around subcutaneous Dirofilaria repens.

Author information

Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Bernhard-Nocht-Str. 74, 20359, Hamburg, Germany.


Dirofilaria repens and other Dirofilaria species are widely distributed parasitic nematodes of carnivores, which occasionally are transmitted to men, causing subcutaneous nodules. In humans, it usually occurs only as single male or female filariae without production of microfilariae. The non-productive living or dead Dirofilaria worms in subcutaneous biopsies from 15 human patients permitted us to study the role of the pleiotropic and immunoregulatory cytokine transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) independent from the influence of microfilariae. Antiserum against latent TGF-beta 1 was used for an immunohistological examination. In the infiltrates around female and male filariae, there occurred strongly TGF-beta-positive macrophages, mast cells, endothelial cells, fibrocytes, and giant cells adjacent to dead worms. In one nodule, secondary lymph follicles were observed with clearly TGF-beta-positive B cells in the mantle zone and weakly positive macrophages and B cells in the germinal centre. A network of CD35-positive follicular dendritic cells was observed in the germinal centre. All Dirofilaria contained Wolbachia endobacteria, which probably had attracted the numerous TGF-beta-negative neutrophils near to the worm. Wolbachia were phagocytosed by neutrophils adjacent to dead filariae. Macrophages and lymphocytes expressed the MHC class II molecule HLA-DR in small accumulations of immune cells in the outer zone of the infiltrate and the mantle zone and germinal centre of secondary lymph follicles. It is concluded that single non-productive Dirofilaria worms elicit a strong expression of TGF-beta. This result is in accordance with observations on Onchocerca volvulus from patients with the hyporeactive (generalised) form.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center