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Int J Parasitol. 1994 Jul;24(4):495-500.

Immunosuppressive proteins secreted by the gastrointestinal nematode parasite Heligmosomoides polygyrus.

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Department of Life Science, University of Nottingham, University Park, U.K.


Experiments are described in which the conditions for the production, assay and isolation of immunomodulatory factors from the excretory-secretory (ES) products of Heligmosomoides polygyrus have been standardized. For the inhibition of an in vitro antibody response to keyhole limpet haemocyanin, immunosuppressive activity was most reproducibly produced by 10-20-day-old adult worms maintained in culture for 24 h. This activity was relatively stable at room temperature, at 50 degrees C and pH 2, but was destroyed by boiling. Immunosuppressive activity was eluted from Sephadex G-100 in fractions preceding those containing the bulk of ES proteins, and resolved on sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis with molecular masses of 67, 54 and 20 kDa. The relative purity of these factors was confirmed by iso-electric focusing, where immunosuppressive activity was associated with proteins of pI values of approximately 4.2 and 4.35.

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