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Eur J Immunol. 2010 Oct;40(10):2837-47. doi: 10.1002/eji.200940075.

Control of Schistosoma mansoni egg-induced inflammation by IL-4-responsive CD4(+)CD25(-)CD103(+)Foxp3(-) cells is IL-10-dependent.

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International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) and Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IIDMM), Division of Immunology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.


Host protection to helminth infection requires IL-4 receptor α chain (IL-4Rα) signalling and the establishment of finely regulated Th2 responses. In the current study, the role of IL-4Rα-responsive T cells in Schistosoma mansoni egg-induced inflammation was investigated. Egg-induced inflammation in IL-4Rα-responsive BALB/c mice was accompanied with Th2-biased responses, whereas T-cell-specific IL-4Rα-deficient BALB/c mice (iLck(cre)Il4ra(-) (/lox)) developed Th1-biased responses with heightened inflammation. The proportion of Foxp3(+) Treg in the draining LN of control mice did not correlate with the control of inflammation and was reduced in comparison to T-cell-specific IL-4Rα-deficient mice. This was due to IL-4-mediated inhibition of CD4(+)Foxp3(+) Treg conversion, demonstrated in adoptively transferred Rag2(-) (/) (-) mice. Interestingly, reduced footpad swelling in Il4ra(-) (/lox) mice was associated with the induction of IL-4 and IL-10-secreting CD4(+)CD25(-)CD103(+)Foxp3(-) cells, confirmed in S. mansoni infection studies. Transfer of IL-4Rα-responsive CD4(+)CD25(-)CD103(+) cells, but not CD4(+)CD25(high) or CD4(+)CD25(-)CD103(-) cells, controlled inflammation in iLck(cre)Il4ra(-) (/lox) mice. The control of inflammation depended on IL-10, as transferred CD4(+)CD25(-)CD103(+) cells from IL-10-deficient mice were not able to effectively downregulate inflammation. Together, these results demonstrate that IL-4 signalling in T cells inhibits Foxp3(+) Treg in vivo and promotes CD4(+)CD25(-)CD103(+)Foxp3(-) cells that control S. mansoni egg-induced inflammation via IL-10.

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