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Front Immunol. 2014 Oct 20;5:499. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2014.00499. eCollection 2014.

Priming dendritic cells for th2 polarization: lessons learned from helminths and implications for metabolic disorders.

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Department of Parasitology, Leiden University Medical Center , Leiden , Netherlands.
Department of Parasitology, Leiden University Medical Center , Leiden , Netherlands ; Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Leiden University Medical Center , Leiden , Netherlands.


Nearly one quarter of the world's population is infected with helminth parasites. A common feature of helminth infections is the manifestation of a type 2 immune response, characterized by T helper 2 (Th2) cells that mediate anti-helminth immunity. In addition, recent literature describes a close association between type 2 immune responses and wound repair, suggesting that a Th2 response may concurrently mediate repair of parasite-induced damage. The molecular mechanisms that govern Th2 responses are poorly understood, although it is clear that dendritic cells (DCs), which are the most efficient antigen-presenting cells in the immune system, play a central role. Here, we review the molecular mechanisms by which DCs polarize Th2 cells, examining both helminth antigens and helminth-mediated tissue damage as Th2-inducing triggers. Finally, we discuss the implication of these findings in the context of metabolic disorders, as recent literature indicates that various aspects of the Th2-associated inflammatory response contribute to metabolic homeostasis.


Th2 cells; antigen-presenting cells; dendritic cells; helminth; insulin resistance; metabolic diseases; obesity; type 2 inflammation

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