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J Immunol. 1993 Apr 15;150(8 Pt 1):3434-41.

A primary intestinal helminthic infection rapidly induces a gut-associated elevation of Th2-associated cytokines and IL-3.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD 20814.

Abstract

The immune response that is characteristic of parasitic helminth infections includes components associated with immediate-type hypersensitivity: elevated serum IgE, eosinophilia, and intestinal mast cell hyperplasia. In infection with the parasitic nematode, Heligmosomoides polygyrus, IL-4 mediates protective immunity, suggesting the presence of a host-protective Th2 response. In this investigation, we examined early stages of immune responsiveness to H. polygyrus infection to determine whether and at what stage a specific Th2-like pattern first appears. Using a quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay, we analyzed changes in IL-2, IFN-gamma, IL-3, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-9, and IL-10 gene expression in the spleen, mesenteric lymph node, and Peyer's patch at various time points after infection. Our results demonstrate a highly specific and reproducible pattern of cytokine gene expression that remains localized to the enteric region. By 6 h after infection, IL-5 and IL-9 mRNA were elevated in the Peyer's patch and IL-3 was elevated by 12 to 24 h after infection. IL-4 RNA became elevated by 4 to 6 days after infection, but little change was observed in IFN-gamma, IL-2, or IL-10 mRNA levels. The early increases in IL-3, IL-5, and IL-9 gene expression after infection were probably T cell-independent, inasmuch as they were observed in Peyer's patches of congenitally athymic mice and anti-CD4, anti-CD8 mAb-treated conventional mice. However, treatment with these mAb considerably decreased cytokine gene expression 6 days after infection, and 8 days after infection, increased IL-4 gene expression in mesenteric lymph node cells was restricted to the CD4+ population. Thus, H. polygyrus infection induces cytokine gene expression that is restricted to some Th2-associated cytokines, is initiated by a T-independent response, and culminates in a T-dependent response.

PMID:
8468481
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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