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Education ?

Medical School Score Rankings
Baylor College of Medicine (1968)
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Top 25%

Awards & Distinctions ?

Associations
American Board of Internal Medicine

Publications & Research

Dr. Pearce has contributed to 138 publications.
Title Growth Factors and Chemotactic Factors from Parasitic Helminths: Molecular Evidence for Roles in Host-parasite Interactions Versus Parasite Development.
Date August 2010
Journal International Journal for Parasitology
Excerpt

For decades molecular helminthologists have been interested in identifying proteins expressed by the parasite that have roles in modulating the host immune response. In some cases, the aim was targeting parasite-derived orthologues of mammalian cytokines and growth factors known to have functions in immune modulation. In others, novel proteins without homology to mammalian cytokines were isolated by investigating effects of purified worm extracts on various immunological processes. Often, the role parasite-derived growth factors play in worm development was ignored. Here, we review growth factors and chemotactic factors expressed by parasitic helminths and discuss their recognised and potential roles in immunomodulation and/or parasite development.

Title Toll-like Receptor-induced Changes in Glycolytic Metabolism Regulate Dendritic Cell Activation.
Date July 2010
Journal Blood
Excerpt

Dendritic cells (DCs) are key regulators of innate and acquired immunity. The maturation of DCs is directed by signal transduction events downstream of toll-like receptors (TLRs) and other pattern recognition receptors. Here, we demonstrate that, in mouse DCs, TLR agonists stimulate a profound metabolic transition to aerobic glycolysis, similar to the Warburg metabolism displayed by cancer cells. This metabolic switch depends on the phosphatidyl inositol 3'-kinase/Akt pathway, is antagonized by the adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and is required for DC maturation. The metabolic switch induced by DC activation is antagonized by the antiinflammatory cytokine interleukin-10. Our data pinpoint TLR-mediated metabolic conversion as essential for DC maturation and function and reveal it as a potential target for intervention in the control of excessive inflammation and inappropriately regulated immune responses.

Title Suppression of Mrnas Encoding Tegument Tetraspanins from Schistosoma Mansoni Results in Impaired Tegument Turnover.
Date June 2010
Journal Plos Pathogens
Excerpt

Schistosomes express a family of integral membrane proteins, called tetraspanins (TSPs), in the outer surface membranes of the tegument. Two of these tetraspanins, Sm-TSP-1 and Sm-TSP-2, confer protection as vaccines in mice, and individuals who are naturally resistant to S. mansoni infection mount a strong IgG response to Sm-TSP-2. To determine their functions in the tegument of S. mansoni we used RNA interference to silence expression of Sm-tsp-1 and Sm-tsp-2 mRNAs. Soaking of parasites in Sm-tsp dsRNAs resulted in 61% (p = 0.009) and 74% (p = 0.009) reductions in Sm-tsp-1 and Sm-tsp-2 transcription levels, respectively, in adult worms, and 67%-75% (p = 0.011) and 69%-89% (p = 0.004) reductions in Sm-tsp-1 and Sm-tsp-2 transcription levels, respectively, in schistosomula compared to worms treated with irrelevant control (luciferase) dsRNA. Ultrastructural morphology of adult worms treated in vitro with Sm-tsp-2 dsRNA displayed a distinctly vacuolated and thinner tegument compared with controls. Schistosomula exposed in vitro to Sm-tsp-2 dsRNA had a significantly thinner and more vacuolated tegument, and morphology consistent with a failure of tegumentary invaginations to close. Injection of mice with schistosomula that had been electroporated with Sm-tsp-1 and Sm-tsp-2 dsRNAs resulted in 61% (p = 0.005) and 83% (p = 0.002) reductions in the numbers of parasites recovered from the mesenteries four weeks later when compared to dsRNA-treated controls. These results imply that tetraspanins play important structural roles impacting tegument development, maturation or stability.

Title Ikaros Silences T-bet Expression and Interferon-gamma Production During T Helper 2 Differentiation.
Date February 2010
Journal The Journal of Biological Chemistry
Excerpt

CD4+ T cells can be instructed by nonantigen-specific signals to differentiate into functionally distinct lineages with mutually exclusive patterns of cytokine production. The molecular events that drive interferon-gamma (IFN gamma) production during Th1 development are well understood, but mechanisms that silence this cytokine during Th2 polarization are not clear. In this study, we find that the tbx21 gene encoding the Th1 master regulator T-bet is a direct target of the transcriptional repressor Ikaros. In Th2 cells, which do not express T-bet, strong Ikaros binding could be detected at the endogenous tbx21 promoter, whereas this gene was not occupied by Ikaros in T-bet-expressing Th1 cells. Inhibition of Ikaros DNA binding activity during Th2 polarization resulted in loss of Ikaros promoter occupancy, increased T-bet expression, and inappropriate T-bet-dependent production of IFN gamma. Ikaros was also required for epigenetic imprinting of the ifn gamma locus during Th2 polarization, and loss of Ikaros function in vivo led to an inappropriate Th1 response to the parasite Shistosoma mansoni. These studies demonstrate that Ikaros, a factor with an established role in lymphocyte development, also regulates the development of peripheral T helper responses.

Title Il-4(-/-) Mice with Lethal Mesocestoides Corti Infections--reduced Th2 Cytokines and Alternatively Activated Macrophages.
Date January 2010
Journal Parasite Immunology
Excerpt

Protection against Mesocestoides corti, a cestode that invades vital organs, is dependent on the production of IL-4, as IL-4(-/-) mice were found to have higher parasite burdens when compared with wild-type mice. The goal of this study was to investigate the role of IL-4 in immunity to M. corti, focusing on the immunological profile and on potential mediators of pathology. IL-4(-/-) mice infected with M. corti showed 100% mortality by 32 days, whereas wild-type mice survived for approximately 1 year. Parasite burdens were significantly increased in the liver, peritoneal, and thoracic cavities of IL-4(-/-) mice, associated with impaired recruitment of inflammatory cells and a reduction in monocytes and macrophages. IL-5 production by splenocytes and expression in liver tissue was decreased in infected IL-4(-/-) mice compared with wild-type mice. In contrast, IL-4(-/-) mice produced increased amounts of IFNgamma and TNFalpha. Alternatively activated macrophages were a major feature of liver granulomas in wild-type mice evidenced by Arginase I expression, while livers from infected IL-4(-/-) mice showed impaired alternative macrophage activation without increased classical macrophage activation. Thus, lethality during M. corti infection of IL-4(-/-) mice is associated with decreased Th2 cytokines, increased Th1 cytokines and impairment of alternatively activated macrophages.

Title Regulation of Pathogenesis and Immunity in Helminth Infections.
Date October 2009
Journal The Journal of Experimental Medicine
Excerpt

Helminths are multicellular eukaryotic parasites that infect over one quarter of the world's population. Through coevolution with the human immune system, these organisms have learned to exploit immunoregulatory pathways, resulting in asymptomatic tolerance of infections in many individuals. When infections and the resulting immune responses become dysregulated, however, acute and chronic pathologies often develop. A recent international meeting focused on how these parasites modulate host immunity and how control of parasitic and immunopathological disease might be achieved.

Title Mhc Class Ii-dependent Basophil-cd4+ T Cell Interactions Promote T(h)2 Cytokine-dependent Immunity.
Date September 2009
Journal Nature Immunology
Excerpt

Dendritic cells can prime naive CD4+ T cells; however, here we demonstrate that dendritic cell-mediated priming was insufficient for the development of T helper type 2 cell-dependent immunity. We identify basophils as a dominant cell population that coexpressed major histocompatibility complex class II and interleukin 4 message after helminth infection. Basophilia was promoted by thymic stromal lymphopoietin, and depletion of basophils impaired immunity to helminth infection. Basophils promoted antigen-specific CD4+ T cell proliferation and interleukin 4 production in vitro, and transfer of basophils augmented the population expansion of helminth-responsive CD4+ T cells in vivo. Collectively, our studies suggest that major histocompatibility complex class II-dependent interactions between basophils and CD4+ T cells promote T helper type 2 cytokine responses and immunity to helminth infection.

Title T Follicular Helper Cells Differentiate from Th2 Cells in Response to Helminth Antigens.
Date July 2009
Journal The Journal of Experimental Medicine
Excerpt

The relationship of T follicular helper (TFH) cells to other T helper (Th) subsets is controversial. We find that after helminth infection, or immunization with helminth antigens, reactive lymphoid organs of 4get IL-4/GFP reporter mice contain populations of IL-4/GFP-expressing CD4(+) T cells that display the TFH markers CXCR5, PD-1, and ICOS. These TFH cells express the canonical TFH markers BCL6 and IL-21, but also GATA3, the master regulator of Th2 cell differentiation. Consistent with a relationship between Th2 and TFH cells, IL-4 protein production, reported by expression of huCD2 in IL-4 dual reporter (4get/KN2) mice, was a robust marker of TFH cells in LNs responding to helminth antigens. Moreover, the majority of huCD2/IL-4-producing Th cells were found within B cell follicles, consistent with their definition as TFH cells. TFH cell development after immunization failed to occur in mice lacking B cells or CD154. The relationship of TFH cells to the Th2 lineage was confirmed when TFH cells were found to develop from CXCR5(-) PD-1(-) IL-4/GFP(+) CD4(+) T cells after their transfer into naive mice and antigen challenge in vivo.

Title Alternatively Activated Macrophage-derived Relm-{alpha} is a Negative Regulator of Type 2 Inflammation in the Lung.
Date May 2009
Journal The Journal of Experimental Medicine
Excerpt

Differentiation and recruitment of alternatively activated macrophages (AAMacs) are hallmarks of several inflammatory conditions associated with infection, allergy, diabetes, and cancer. AAMacs are defined by the expression of Arginase 1, chitinase-like molecules, and resistin-like molecule (RELM) alpha/FIZZ1; however, the influence of these molecules on the development, progression, or resolution of inflammatory diseases is unknown. We describe the generation of RELM-alpha-deficient (Retnla(-/-)) mice and use a model of T helper type 2 (Th2) cytokine-dependent lung inflammation to identify an immunoregulatory role for RELM-alpha. After challenge with Schistosoma mansoni (Sm) eggs, Retnla(-/-) mice developed exacerbated lung inflammation compared with their wild-type counterparts, characterized by excessive pulmonary vascularization, increased size of egg-induced granulomas, and elevated fibrosis. Associated with increased disease severity, Sm egg-challenged Retnla(-/-) mice exhibited elevated expression of pathogen-specific CD4(+) T cell-derived Th2 cytokines. Consistent with immunoregulatory properties, recombinant RELM-alpha could bind to macrophages and effector CD4(+) Th2 cells and inhibited Th2 cytokine production in a Bruton's tyrosine kinase-dependent manner. Additionally, Retnla(-/-) AAMacs promoted exaggerated antigen-specific Th2 cell differentiation. Collectively, these data identify a previously unrecognized role for AAMac-derived RELM-alpha in limiting the pathogenesis of Th2 cytokine-mediated pulmonary inflammation, in part through the regulation of CD4(+) T cell responses.

Title Th2 Cell Hyporesponsiveness During Chronic Murine Schistosomiasis is Cell Intrinsic and Linked to Grail Expression.
Date April 2009
Journal The Journal of Clinical Investigation
Excerpt

Chronic infections are associated with progressively declining T cell function. Infections with helminth parasites, such as Schistosoma mansoni, are often chronic and characterized by the development of strong Th2 responses that peak during the acute stage of infection and then decline despite ongoing infection; this minimizes Th2-dependent immunopathology during the chronic stage of infection. We sought to understand the basis for the decline in Th2 responses in chronic schistosomiasis. Using IL-4 reporter mice (mice that express EGFP as a reporter for Il4 gene expression) to identify Th2 cells, we found that Th2 cell numbers plateaued during acute infection and remained constant thereafter. However, the percentages of Th2 cells proliferating during late infection were strikingly lower than those during acute infection. Th2 cell hyporesponsiveness was evident within 10 d of initiation of the Th2 response and became progressively ingrained thereafter, in response to repeated Ag stimulation. Gene expression analyses implicated the E3-ubiquitin ligase gene related to anergy in lymphocytes (GRAIL) in the hyporesponsive state. Consistent with this, suppression of GRAIL expression using retrovirally delivered siRNA prevented the development of hyporesponsiveness induced by repeated Ag stimulation in vitro or in vivo. Together, these data indicate that the decline in Th2 cell responsiveness during chronic schistosomiasis is the net result of the upregulation of GRAIL expression in response to repeated Ag stimulation.

Title Review Series on Helminths, Immune Modulation and the Hygiene Hypothesis: Mechanisms Underlying Helminth Modulation of Dendritic Cell Function.
Date February 2009
Journal Immunology
Excerpt

Dendritic cells (DCs) play a central role in activating CD4 T (T helper, Th) cells. As a component of their response to pathogen-associated stimuli, DCs produce cytokines and express surface molecules that provide important cues to modulate the effector functions of responding Th cells. Much is known of how DCs respond to, and influence immune response outcome to, bacterial and viral pathogens. However, relatively little is understood about how DCs respond to helminth parasites. This is an area of considerable interest since it impacts our understanding of the initiation of Th2 responses, which are stereotypically associated with helminth infections, and the regulation of allergic and autoimmune pathologies which evidence suggests are less severe or absent in individuals infected with helminths. This review attempts to summarize our understanding of the effects of helminth products on dendritic cell biology.

Title Th2 Differentiation is Unaffected by Jagged2 Expression on Dendritic Cells.
Date September 2008
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

Expression of the Jagged Notch ligands by dendritic cells (DCs) has been suggested to play a role in instructing Th2 responses. Supporting this hypothesis, we found that Jagged2 but not Jagged1 expression, correlates with the ability of DCs to induce Th2 responses. Jagged2 expression is up-regulated in response to the helminth soluble Schistosoma mansoni egg Ag, which conditions DCs to induce Th2 responses, and is markedly down-regulated following exposure to TLR agonists that generally promote Th1 responses. Conversely, Jagged1 expression is markedly induced by TLR ligation. Despite these correlations, suppression of expression of Jagged2 using retrovirally delivered small interfering RNA failed to affect the ability of DCs to induce Th2 cell differentiation either in vitro or in vivo. Moreover, retrovirally induced expression of Jagged2 did not enhance the ability of DCs to induce Th2 cell responses. Our data indicate that Jagged2 expression by DCs is not sufficient or required for Th2 cell differentiation.

Title Helminth Infections: the Great Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Date May 2008
Journal The Journal of Clinical Investigation
Excerpt

Helminths are parasitic worms. They are the most common infectious agents of humans in developing countries and produce a global burden of disease that exceeds better-known conditions, including malaria and tuberculosis. As we discuss here, new insights into fundamental helminth biology are accumulating through newly completed genome projects and the nascent application of transgenesis and RNA interference technologies. At the same time, our understanding of the dynamics of the transmission of helminths and the mechanisms of the Th2-type immune responses that are induced by infection with these parasitic worms has increased markedly. Ultimately, these advances in molecular and medical helminth biology should one day translate into a new and robust pipeline of drugs, diagnostics, and vaccines for targeting parasitic worms that infect humans.

Title Reverse Genetics and the Study of the Immune Response to Schistosomes.
Date March 2008
Journal Parasite Immunology
Excerpt

The sequencing of the schistosome genome and the establishment of techniques for RNAi and transient transfection in these parasites have opened the door for a reverse genetics approach to studying schistosomes. One of the most intriguing aspects of schistosome biology is the interaction of these parasites with the immune system. The immune response underlies the ability of the host to survive while infected and to eventually develop resistance to further infection. However, it is also instrumental in the development of disease due to its role orchestrating granuloma formation around tissue-trapped parasite eggs. While schistosomes have clearly evolved mechanisms for evading host immune responses, their normal development is, paradoxically, also dependent upon the presence of a normal immune system. This article will review recent advances in the development of tools for studying gene function in schistosomes, and discuss how these new tools may be exploited to investigate issues of key importance in the interaction of schistosomes with the host immune system.

Title Suppression of Th2 Cell Development by Notch Ligands Delta1 and Delta4.
Date March 2008
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

Notch signaling plays important roles in Th cell activation. We show that in response to TLR ligation, dendritic cells up-regulate expression of Notch ligands Delta1 and Delta4 via a MyD88-dependent pathway. Expression of Delta1 or Delta4 by dendritic cells enhanced their ability to activate naive Th cells and promote Th1 cell development, and allowed them to strongly inhibit Th2 cell development. Promotion of Th1 cell development was dependent on IFN-gamma and T-bet expression by responding Th cells. However, the inhibition of Th2 cell development occurred independently of IFN-gamma or T-bet, and resulted from a block in IL-4-initiated commitment to the Th2 lineage. The promotion of Th1 cell development by Delta is not a reflection of the delivery of pro-Th1 instructional signal, but rather it is the result of a block in the downstream effects initiated by IL-4 signaling.

Title Worms Tame Mast Cells.
Date February 2008
Journal Nature Medicine
Title Transfection of Schistosoma Mansoni by Electroporation and the Description of a New Promoter Sequence for Transgene Expression.
Date December 2007
Journal International Journal for Parasitology
Excerpt

We sought to investigate the efficacy of electroporation for the introduction of plasmid-based DNA constructs into Schistosoma mansoni, and expanded our study to examine parameters governing transgene expression, including requirements of a 5' and 3' flanking sequence, as well as parasite developmental effects on transgene expression. We used luciferase as a reporter gene for this application. Our data show that electroporation allows the transfection of immature schistosomes, and defines 5' promoter sequence from the schistosome actin gene (SmAct1.1), coupled promiscuously with various 3' terminator sequences, as a powerful promoter of transgene expression in growing, but not early non-growing, schistosomula. The methodology described herein will facilitate ectopic expression of genes of interest in schistosomes.

Title Host-pathogen Interactions: Pas De Deux.
Date December 2007
Journal Current Opinion in Immunology
Title Piggybac Transposon Mediated Transgenesis of the Human Blood Fluke, Schistosoma Mansoni.
Date December 2007
Journal Faseb Journal : Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Excerpt

The transposon piggyBac from the genome of the cabbage looper moth Trichoplusia ni has been observed in the laboratory to jump into the genomes of key model and pathogenic eukaryote organisms including mosquitoes, planarians, human and other mammalian cells, and the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Introduction of exogenous transposons into schistosomes has not been reported but transposon-mediated transgenesis of schistosomes might supersede current methods for functional genomics of this important human pathogen. In the present study we examined whether the piggyBac transposon could deliver reporter transgenes into the genome of Schistosoma mansoni parasites. A piggyBac donor plasmid modified to encode firefly luciferase under control of schistosome gene promoters was introduced along with 7-methylguanosine capped RNAs encoding piggyBac transposase into cultured schistosomula by square wave electroporation. The activity of the helper transposase mRNA was confirmed by Southern hybridization analysis of genomic DNA from the transformed schistosomes, and hybridization signals indicated that the piggyBac transposon had integrated into numerous sites within the parasite chromosomes. piggyBac integrations were recovered by retrotransposon-anchored PCR, revealing characteristic piggyBac TTAA footprints in the vicinity of the endogenous schistosome retrotransposons Boudicca, SR1, and SR2. This is the first report of chromosomal integration of a transgene and somatic transgenesis of this important human pathogen, in this instance accomplished by mobilization of the piggyBac transposon.

Title Memory Cd4 T Cells Enhance Primary Cd8 T-cell Responses.
Date August 2007
Journal Infection and Immunity
Excerpt

CD4 T-cell help is required for optimal memory CD8 T-cell responses. We have found that engaging preexisting CD4 Th1, but not Th2, memory cells at the time of CD8 T-cell priming results in increased CD8 effector responses to both bacterial and viral pathogens. The enhanced responses are characterized by increased numbers of cytokine-producing, antigen-specific cells. These findings suggest that engaging endogenous memory Th1 cells may increase cellular responses in an immunotherapy or vaccination setting.

Title Functional Plasticity in Memory T Helper Cell Responses.
Date June 2007
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

Following activation, naive CD4+ Th cells can differentiate to selectively produce either the Th1 lineage-specific cytokine IFN-gamma or the Th2 cytokine IL-4 and, in so doing, lose the capacity to produce cytokines of the alternative lineage. Lineage commitment of murine CD4+ T cells has largely been considered to be absolute with little flexibility to produce cytokines of the opposing lineage. In this study, we demonstrate that cells within Th2 memory populations can produce IFN-gamma if reactivated in vivo in the context of an innate response that favors Th1 cell development. Likewise, cells within Th1 memory populations produce IL-4 when challenged under conditions that promote Th2 responses. Both effector and unpolarized central memory cells retain the potential to produce cytokines that were not made during the primary response. These findings reveal that both effector and central memory Th1 and Th2 cells possess the capacity to respond to environmental cues to produce pathogen-appropriate cytokines of the opposing lineage.

Title Tgf-beta Signaling Controls Embryo Development in the Parasitic Flatworm Schistosoma Mansoni.
Date June 2007
Journal Plos Pathogens
Excerpt

Over 200 million people have, and another 600 million are at risk of contracting, schistosomiasis, one of the major neglected tropical diseases. Transmission of this infection, which is caused by helminth parasites of the genus Schistosoma, depends upon the release of parasite eggs from the human host. However, approximately 50% of eggs produced by schistosomes fail to reach the external environment, but instead become trapped in host tissues where pathological changes caused by the immune responses to secreted egg antigens precipitate disease. Despite the central importance of egg production in transmission and disease, relatively little is understood of the molecular processes underlying the development of this key life stage in schistosomes. Here, we describe a novel parasite-encoded TGF-beta superfamily member, Schistosoma mansoni Inhibin/Activin (SmInAct), which is key to this process. In situ hybridization localizes SmInAct expression to the reproductive tissues of the adult female, and real-time RT-PCR analyses indicate that SmInAct is abundantly expressed in ovipositing females and the eggs they produce. Based on real-time RT-PCR analyses, SmInAct transcription continues, albeit at a reduced level, both in adult worms isolated from single-sex infections, where reproduction is absent, and in parasites from IL-7R(-/-) mice, in which viable egg production is severely compromised. Nevertheless, Western analyses demonstrate that SmInAct protein is undetectable in parasites from single-sex infections and from infections of IL-7R(-/-) mice, suggesting that SmInAct expression is tightly linked to the reproductive potential of the worms. A crucial role for SmInAct in successful embryogenesis is indicated by the finding that RNA interference-mediated knockdown of SmInAct expression in eggs aborts their development. Our results demonstrate that TGF-beta signaling plays a major role in the embryogenesis of a metazoan parasite, and have implications for the development of new strategies for the treatment and prevention of an important and neglected human disease.

Title Th1 and Th2 Cells Help Cd8 T-cell Responses.
Date June 2007
Journal Infection and Immunity
Excerpt

Help from CD4 T cells is often important for the establishment of primary and memory CD8 T-cell responses. However, it has yet to be determined whether T helper polarization affects the delivery of help and/or whether responding CD8 T cells helped by Th1 or Th2 cells express distinct effector properties. To address these issues, we compared CD8 T-cell responses in the context of Th1 or Th2 help by injecting dendritic cells copulsed with the major histocompatibility complex class I-restricted OVA peptide plus, respectively, bacterial or helminth antigens. We found that Th2 cells, like Th1 cells, can help primary and long-lived memory CD8 T-cell responses. Experiments in interleukin-12 (IL-12)-/- and IL-4-/- mice, in which polarized Th1 or Th2 responses, respectively, fail to develop, indicate that the underlying basis of CD4 help is independent of attributes acquired as a response to polarization.

Title Cutting Edge: Ipse/alpha-1, a Glycoprotein from Schistosoma Mansoni Eggs, Induces Ige-dependent, Antigen-independent Il-4 Production by Murine Basophils in Vivo.
Date June 2007
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

During infection with the helminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni, the deposition of eggs coincides with the onset of IL-4 production and Th2 development. Although IL-4 is known as a potent inducer of Th2 differentiation, the mechanism by which schistosome eggs induce IL-4 production is not clear. In this study, we demonstrate that the S. mansoni egg Ag (SmEA) induces IgE-dependent IL-4 production by basophils derived from Heligmosomoides polygyrus-infected or OVA/alum-immunized mice in the absence of pathogen-specific IgE. The effect is mediated by the secretory glycoprotein IPSE/alpha-1, because IPSE/alpha-1-depleted SmEA no longer induces cytokine production. Conversely, recombinant IPSE/alpha-1 is sufficient to induce IL-4 production. Importantly, the injection of SmEA or recombinant IPSE/alpha-1 into H. polygyrus-infected 4get/KN2 IL-4 reporter mice rapidly induces the dose-dependent IL-4 production by basophils in the liver, a major site of egg deposition. Thus, IPSE/alpha-1 induces basophils to produce IL-4 even in the absence of Ag-specific IgE.

Title Genetic Manipulation of Schistosomes.
Date June 2007
Journal International Journal for Parasitology
Excerpt

In contrast to the situations with model organisms and parasitic protozoa, progress with gene manipulation with schistosomes has been delayed by impediments that include our inability to maintain the life cycle in vitro, absence of immortalized cell lines, large genome sizes, unavailability of drug resistance markers and other difficulties. However, in the past few years, tangible progress has been reported towards development of tools for gene manipulation and transgenesis of schistosomes, and there is reason to believe that the field is on the verge of transformation into an era where genetic manipulation is routine. Recent reports dealing with approaches and tools to manipulate the genome and gene expression in schistosomes are reviewed here.

Title Il-31-il-31r Interactions Negatively Regulate Type 2 Inflammation in the Lung.
Date April 2007
Journal The Journal of Experimental Medicine
Excerpt

Interleukin (IL) 31Ralpha (glycoprotein 130-like monocyte receptor and glycoprotein 130-like receptor) heterodimerizes with oncostatin M receptor beta to bind IL-31, a cytokine expressed preferentially by CD4(+) T helper type 2 (Th2) cells. However, the functions of IL-31-IL-31R signaling in immune regulation remain unknown. Here, we identify a novel role for IL-31R in limiting type 2 inflammation in the lung. After intravenous injection of Schistosoma mansoni eggs, IL-31Ralpha(-/-) mice developed severe pulmonary inflammation, characterized by an increase in the area of granulomatous inflammation, increased numbers of resistin-like molecule alpha(+) cells, and enhanced collagen deposition compared to WT counterparts. In vitro, macrophages generated from IL-31Ralpha(-/-) mice promoted enhanced ovalbumin-specific CD4(+) T cell proliferation and purified naive CD4(+) T cells from IL-31Ralpha(-/-) mice exhibited enhanced proliferation and expression of Th2 cytokines, identifying a T cell- and macrophage-intrinsic regulatory function for IL-31R signaling. In contrast, the generation of CD4(+) T cell-mediated Th1 responses were normal in IL-31Ralpha(-/-) mice, suggesting that the regulatory role of IL-31R signaling is limited to type 2 responses. Together, these data implicate IL-31R signaling as a novel negative regulatory pathway that specifically limits type 2 inflammation.

Title Suppression of Early Il-4 Production Underlies the Failure of Cd4 T Cells Activated by Tlr-stimulated Dendritic Cells to Differentiate into Th2 Cells.
Date March 2007
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

Dendritic cells (DCs) activated through TLRs provide a potent negative signal for Th2 cell development that is independent of positive signals for Th1 cell development such as IL-12 and IFN-gamma. In this study we demonstrate that the ability of TLR-activated DCs to suppress Th2 cell development is Ag dose-independent and unique to DCs that have been activated through TLRs vs by cytokines. We show that TLR-activated DCs inhibit early IL-4 production by CD4 T cells and thus inhibit their ability to subsequently increase GATA-3 expression and commit to the Th2 lineage. This occurs independently of expression of the GATA-3 antagonist T-bet. Although CD4 T cells activated by TLR-activated DCs make IL-2, they are not capable of phosphorylating STAT5 in response to this cytokine. This inhibition of responsiveness to IL-2 appears to underlie the failure to make early IL-4. Our findings suggest that DCs provide instructional signals for T cell differentiation before cytokine-mediated Th cell selection and outgrowth.

Title Distinct Sources and Targets of Il-10 During Dendritic Cell-driven Th1 and Th2 Responses in Vivo.
Date October 2006
Journal European Journal of Immunology
Excerpt

Dendritic cells (DC) can both initiate an immune response and dictate its character. Cytokines are critically involved in this process and, although interleukin (IL)-10 is known as a potent immunosuppressant, the impact of its release from DC remains unclear. Here, we transfer pathogen-conditioned murine DC in vivo and show that, while DC-derived IL-10 can act to limit Th1 development, it is not required for Th2 induction. In both Th2 and Th1 settings, however, IL-10 from cells other than the initiating DC dominates the regulation of the emerging effector cell populations. Surprisingly, the critical source of IL-10 in this process is neither T nor B cells. These data illustrate the distinct actions of IL-10 during differently polarised, pathogen-focussed, DC-driven immune responses in vivo.

Title Regulatory T Cell Responses Develop in Parallel to Th Responses and Control the Magnitude and Phenotype of the Th Effector Population.
Date June 2006
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

Host survival during schistosomiasis requires the development of a tightly regulated and Th2-polarized immune response against parasite egg Ags. In this system, Th1 response suppression has been thought to be enforced through the production of IL-10 by Th2 cells and natural T regulatory (Treg) cells. By comparing Th responses in schistosome egg-injected mice that lack IL-10, IL-4, and/or Treg cells, we have been able to build a detailed picture of the relative contributions of Treg cells, Th2 cells, and IL-10 to regulation of the egg-induced response. Our data indicate that eggs induce a marked Treg cell response, evident as the extensive proliferation of Foxp3(+) cells that is proportionally as great as the response occurring within the Th compartment. Furthermore, we show that Treg cells prevent Th1 response development and limit the magnitude of the Th2 response. Although Treg cells are able to produce IL-10 after egg injection, we found no evidence for a role for IL-10 in Treg-mediated suppression of Th cell responses, nor did we find evidence for an inhibitory effect of Th2 cells on Th1 response development. Thus, the magnitude and phenotype of the egg-induced effector Th response are controlled by a parallel response within the Treg population.

Title Regulation of Dendritic Cell Function by Pathogen-derived Molecules Plays a Key Role in Dictating the Outcome of the Adaptive Immune Response.
Date March 2006
Journal Chemical Immunology and Allergy
Excerpt

There is increasing awareness that dendritic cells (DCs) can interpret pathogen-inherent signals and play a pivotal role in polarizing Th cell differentiation. Polarized Th1 responses are induced by DCs, which respond to pathogen-derived TLR ligands to mature and produce IL-12 and related cytokines that are instrumental in Th1 cell outgrowth. In contrast, DCs exposed to SEA (soluble egg Ag from the helminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni) retain a (modified) immature phenotype and induce Th2 responses. In addition to providing positive signals for Th1 cell development, DCs activated to mature by TLR-engagement also provide a potent negative signal that prevents the development of Th2 cells. Production of this signal is dependent upon a MyD88-dependent signaling pathway in DCs. In contrast, exposure of DCs to SEA severely limits their ability to respond to inflammatory TLR ligands such as LPS and CpG. Thus as part of their pathogen-specific response programs, DC can exert negative as well as positive signals for Th response polarization. These effects may have powerful and systemic effects on disease outcome.

Title Long-term Suppression of Cathepsin B Levels by Rna Interference Retards Schistosome Growth.
Date January 2006
Journal Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Excerpt

Schistosoma mansoni is an important flatworm parasite of man that has remained intractable to experimental analyses of gene function. We have developed an approach for using dsRNA to target schistosome transcripts for RNA interference, and used it to address the role of cathepsin B (SmCB1), a cysteine protease that has been proposed to play a central role in hemoglobin digestion in the schistosome gut. Electroporation of 3 h old larval schistosomes with SmCB1-specific dsRNA (SmCB1-dsRNA) resulted in a greater than 10-fold reduction in SmCB1 transcript levels that persisted for >20 days. RNAi mediated reductions in transcript levels led to associated reductions in SmCB1 enzyme activity. Schistosomes treated with SmCB1-dsRNA were viable and developed intestinal heme pigmentation indicative of hemoglobin digestion, but showed significant growth retardation when compared to control parasites, indicating that SmCB1 function is not essential for hemoglobin digestion but is necessary for normal parasite growth. This effect on growth was apparent when parasites were maintained in culture or introduced into mammalian hosts. The report sheds new light on the role of SmCB1 and provides a template for using RNAi to examine gene function in the mammal-parasitic stages of schistosomes during early development in vitro and in vivo.

Title Priming of the Immune Response by Schistosome Eggs.
Date October 2005
Journal Parasite Immunology
Excerpt

Schistosomiasis mansoni is a chronic disease caused by infection with helminths of the genus Schistosoma mansoni. Adult schistosomes live intravascularly, and for transmission of this infection it is necessary for parasite eggs to traverse the endothelium, and migrate to the intestinal lumen, from where they can exit the body to continue the lifecycle. This process is dependent on an intact host CD4 T helper (Th) cell response to egg antigens. Perhaps because of this, eggs have evolved to be highly immunogenic and capable of inducing potent Th responses. The egg-induced Th response is unusual in that it is highly Th2-polarized. The selective pressure on the host to mount a Th2 response against eggs is apparent in the fact that Th2 response-defective mice develop acutely lethal disease when infected with schistosomes. In this review I will focus on the underlying basis for the Th2 bias in the immune response to egg antigens.

Title Dendritic Cell-intrinsic Expression of Nf-kappa B1 is Required to Promote Optimal Th2 Cell Differentiation.
Date August 2005
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

A number of receptors and signaling pathways can influence the ability of dendritic cells (DC) to promote CD4(+) Th type 1 (Th1) responses. In contrast, the regulatory pathways and signaling events that govern the ability of DC to instruct Th2 cell differentiation remain poorly defined. In this report, we demonstrate that NF-kappaB1 expression within DC is required to promote optimal Th2 responses following exposure to Schistosoma mansoni eggs, a potent and natural Th2-inducing stimulus. Although injection of S. mansoni eggs induced production of IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 in the draining lymph node of wild-type (WT) mice, NF-kappaB1(-/-) hosts failed to express Th2 cytokines and developed a polarized Ag-specific IFN-gamma response. In an in vivo adoptive transfer model in which NF-kappaB-sufficient OVA-specific DO11.10 TCR transgenic T cells were injected into OVA-immunized WT or NF-kappaB1(-/-) hosts, NF-kappaB1(-/-) APCs efficiently promoted CD4(+) T cell proliferation and IFN-gamma responses, but failed to promote Ag-specific IL-4 production. Further, bone marrow-derived DC from NF-kappaB1(-/-) mice failed to promote OVA-specific Th2 cell differentiation in in vitro coculture studies. Last, S. mansoni egg Ag-pulsed NF-kappaB1(-/-) DC failed to prime for Th2 cytokine responses following injection into syngeneic WT hosts. Impaired Th2 priming by NF-kappaB1(-/-) DC was accompanied by a reduction in MAPK phosphorylation in Ag-pulsed DC. Taken together, these studies identify a novel requirement for DC-intrinsic expression of NF-kappaB1 in regulating the MAPK pathway and governing the competence of DC to instruct Th2 cell differentiation.

Title Tlr Ligands Can Activate Dendritic Cells to Provide a Myd88-dependent Negative Signal for Th2 Cell Development.
Date March 2005
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

During infection, CD4(+) Th cell responses polarize to become primarily Th1 or Th2. Th1 cells, which make IFN-gamma, are crucial for immunity to many bacterial and protozoal infections, whereas Th2 cells, which make IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13, are important for resistance to helminth infections. Polarized Th1 responses are induced by dendritic cells (DCs), which respond to pathogen-derived TLR ligands to produce IL-12 and related cytokines that are instrumental in Th1 cell outgrowth, and coordinately process and present Ag in the context of MHC class II to activate naive Th cells. In this study we show that in addition to providing positive signals for Th1 cell development, mouse DCs activated by TLR engagement can also provide a potent negative signal that prevents the development of Th2 cells. Production of this signal, which is not IL-12, IL-18, IL-23, IL-27, or IFN-gamma and is not provided via Th1 cells, is dependent upon a MyD88-dependent, TNF receptor-associated factor-6-independent signaling pathway in DCs. The signal is released from DCs in response to activation via TLR ligands and exerts an effect directly on Th cells rather than through a third-party cell. Our findings indicate that DCs can provide potent negative as well as positive instruction for Th response polarization, and that these instructional signals are distinct and independent.

Title Transgene Expression in Schistosoma Mansoni: Introduction of Rna into Schistosomula by Electroporation.
Date February 2005
Journal Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Excerpt

Despite their significance in human and veterinary medicine, and the ability to maintain the parasites in the mouse, relatively little functional detail is available regarding the biology of schistosomes. This deficit is due largely to the lack of well-developed molecular tools for manipulating gene expression in these parasites. Here, we describe an electroporation protocol that provides a routine approach for efficiently introducing nucleic acids into schistosomes. Using luciferase-encoding RNA for electroporation, and luciferase activity as a read-out, we established 400 microg/ml of RNA, and a 20 ms pulse at 125 V using a square wave electroporation generator to be optimal for electroporating schistosomes. Under these conditions schistosomula from 1 hr to 18 hr old could be successfully electroporated, the majority of parasites within a population expressed the introduced RNA, and acute mortality was negligible. Electroporation, as described here, makes possible experimental studies using transiently expressed constitutively active and/or dominant negative mutant proteins, etc. In addition, the finding that electroporation can be used to introduce RNA into schistosomula raises the possibility of using this approach to introduce either DNA constructs or dsRNA sequences, both of which might be expected to have longer-term, ideally inheritable, effects.

Title Th2 Response Polarization During Infection with the Helminth Parasite Schistosoma Mansoni.
Date February 2005
Journal Immunological Reviews
Excerpt

T-helper 2 (Th2) cell responses play a critical role in protection against helminth infections. In the case of Schistosoma mansoni, an important helminth parasite of man, data from a mouse model of human disease have shown that Th2 responses are essential to allow host survival. In this infection, parasite eggs are the primary stimulus for Th2 response development. Recent work has shown that egg molecules exert multiple levels of control over the development of host interferon-gamma-associated inflammatory responses. Soluble egg antigen inhibits the ability of dendritic cells to make interleukin-12 and induces Th2-polarized adaptive immune responses that in combination with regulatory T-cell responses effectively limit Th1 response development. In this article, we discuss the factors influencing Th2 response polarization during infection with S. mansoni.

Title Helminth Antigens Modulate Tlr-initiated Dendritic Cell Activation.
Date February 2005
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

There is increasing awareness that helminth infections can ameliorate proinflammatory conditions. In part, this is due to their inherent ability to induce Th2 and, perhaps, regulatory T cell responses. However, recent evidence indicates that helminths also have direct anti-inflammatory effects on innate immune responses. In this study, we address this issue and show that soluble molecules from the eggs of the helminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni (SEA) suppress LPS-induced activation of immature murine dendritic cells, including MHC class II, costimulatory molecule expression, and IL-12 production. SEA-augmented LPS-induced production of IL-10 is in part responsible for the observed reduction in LPS-induced IL-12 production. However, analyses of IL-10(-/-) DC revealed distinct IL-10-independent suppressive effects of SEA. IL-10-independent mechanisms are evident in the suppression of TLR ligand-induced MAPK and NF-kappaB signaling pathways. Microarray analyses demonstrate that SEA alone uniquely alters the expression of a small subset of genes that are not up-regulated during conventional TLR-induced DC maturation. In contrast, the effects of SEA on TLR ligand-induced DC activation were striking: when mixed with LPS, SEA significantly affects the expression of >100 LPS-regulated genes. These findings indicate that SEA exerts potent anti-inflammatory effects by directly regulating the ability of DC to respond to TLR ligands.

Title Tegumental Expression of a Novel Type Ii Receptor Serine/threonine Kinase (smrk2) in Schistosoma Mansoni.
Date November 2004
Journal Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Excerpt

The TGF-beta family of receptor serine/threonine kinases (RSTKs) is responsible for a diverse array of functions in metazoans. Here, we describe the isolation of SmRK2, a type II RSTK expressed in schistosomula and adult stages of Schistosoma mansoni. Based on amino acid sequence homology, SmRK2 is most closely related to the Activin type II receptor subset of RSTKs. SmRK2 appears to be expressed as three different transcripts: one encoding a full-length receptor with 5'- and 3'-untranslated regions (UTRs) (SmRK2), a second encoding a longer form containing no 3'-UTR and no stop codon (SmRK2a), and a third truncated variant (SmRK2b), which contains sequence encoding the first 53 amino acids of the N-terminal extracellular domain followed by an inserted 10 residue hydrophobic domain. Using an anti-peptide antibody raised against a partial extracellular domain sequence common to all three isoforms, SmRK2 was localized predominantly to the tegumental surface of the parasites. We hypothesize that SmRK2 is the receptor partner for the previously reported type I RSTK SmRK1 (or SmTbetaR1) and that together these proteins constitute a receptor system for receiving signals from the mammalian host.

Title Functional Inactivation of Immature Dendritic Cells by the Intracellular Parasite Toxoplasma Gondii.
Date September 2004
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

Despite its noted ability to induce strong cellular immunity, and its known susceptibility to IFN-gamma-dependent immune effector mechanisms, the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii is a highly successful parasite, able to replicate, disseminate, and either kill the host or, more commonly, establish resistant encysted life forms before the emergence of protective immune responses. We sought to understand how the parasite gains the advantage. Using transgenic clonal parasite lines engineered to express fluorescent markers in combination with dendritic cells (DC) grown from the bone marrow of wild-type mice or transgenic mice expressing fluorescent protein-tagged MHC class II molecules, we used flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy to analyze the responses of infected DC to both invasion by the parasite and subsequent DC maturation signals. We found that T. gondii preferentially invades immature dendritic cells but fails to activate them in the process, and renders them resistant to subsequent activation by TLR ligands or the immune-system-intrinsic maturation signal CD40L. The functional consequences of T. gondii-mediated suppression of DC activation are manifested in a relative inability of infected immature DC to activate naive CD4(+) Th lymphocytes, or to secrete cytokines, such IL-12 and TNF-alpha, that play important roles in innate and/or adaptive immunity. The findings reveal that T. gondii suppresses the ability of immature DC to participate in innate immunity and to induce adaptive immune responses. The ability of T. gondii to temporarily evade recognition could provide a selective advantage that permits dissemination and establishment before adaptive immune response initiation.

Title An Essential Role of Th1 Responses and Interferon Gamma in Infection-mediated Suppression of Neoplastic Growth.
Date September 2004
Journal Cancer Biology & Therapy
Excerpt

We had previously demonstrated that in mice acute toxoplasmosis leads to systemic inhibition of angiogenesis and, consequently, strong suppression of neoplastic growth. Here we investigated the role of Th1 cytokines, in particular interferon gamma (IFN-gamma), in this phenomenon. Besides toxoplasma, neoplastic growth was readily blocked during acute infection with other Th1 response-inducing pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). In contrast, chronic infection with LCMV (when Th1 responses were strongly suppressed) and acute infection with Schistosoma mansoni (when Th2 responses predominated) afforded no anti-tumor protection. To corroborate the involvement of Th1 cytokines in infection-mediated suppression of neoplastic growth, we utilized mice deficient in interleukin-10 (IL10), a suppressor of Th1 responses. When challenged with B16 cells concomitantly with toxoplasma infection, both IL10-null and wild type mice exhibited resistance to neoplastic growth. However, tumors borne by IL10-null animals were even smaller than those borne by their wild type counterparts. This enhanced resistance correlated with dramatically elevated levels of circulating IFN-gamma, a principal Th1 cytokine. Furthermore, while interleukin-12 and tumor necrosis factor a were dispensable for tumor suppression, in animals deficient in IFN-gamma production or signaling, tumor growth and neovascularization were markedly enhanced. Interestingly, the enhancement was also apparent in uninfected animals suggesting that IFN-gamma and its anti-angiogenic effects underlie both infection-dependent and -independent tumor surveillance.

Title Cd25+cd4+ Cells Contribute to Th2 Polarization During Helminth Infection by Suppressing Th1 Response Development.
Date August 2004
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

Mice infected with Schistosoma mansoni develop polarized Th2 responses in which Th1 responses are prevented by IL-10-mediated suppression of IL-12 production. We show that dendritic cells from infected mice are primed to make IL-12 in response to CD40 ligation, and that IL-10 acts by inhibiting this process. In infected mice, two subpopulations of CD4(+) cells, separable by their expression of CD25, make IL-10. CD25(+)CD4(+) cells expressed forkhead box P3, inhibited proliferation of CD4(+) T cells, and made IL-10, but little IL-5. In contrast, CD25(-)CD4(+) cells failed to express forkhead box P3 or to inhibit proliferation and accounted for all the IL-5, IL-6, and IL-13 produced by unseparated splenic populations. Thus, CD25(+) and CD25(-) subpopulations could be characterized as regulatory T cells (Treg cells) and Th2 cells, respectively. Consistent with their ability to make IL-10, both CD25(+) and CD25(-)CD4(+) T cells from infected mice were able, when stimulated with egg Ag, to suppress IL-12 production by CD40 agonist-stimulated dendritic cells. Additionally, in adoptive transfer experiments, both CD4(+) subpopulations of cells were able to partially inhibit the development of Th1 responses in egg-immunized IL-10(-/-) mice. The relationship of Treg cells in infected mice to natural Treg cells was strongly suggested by the ability of CD25(+)CD4(+) cells from naive mice to inhibit Th1 response development when transferred into egg-immunized or infected IL-10(-/-) mice. The data suggest that natural Treg cells and, to a lesser extent, Th2 cells play roles in suppressing Th1 responses and ensuring Th2 polarization during schistosomiasis.

Title Cutting Edge: Dendritic Cells Copulsed with Microbial and Helminth Antigens Undergo Modified Maturation, Segregate the Antigens to Distinct Intracellular Compartments, and Concurrently Induce Microbe-specific Th1 and Helminth-specific Th2 Responses.
Date June 2004
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

To examine the ability of dendritic cells (DC) to discriminate between helminth and microbial Ag and induce appropriately polarized Th responses, mouse DC were copulsed with the helminth Ag, schistosome egg Ag (SEA), along with the bacterium Proprionebacterium acnes, Pa, and transferred into wild-type mice. Strikingly, SEA/Pa-copulsed DC induced concurrent Pa-specific Th1 (but not Th2) responses and SEA-specific Th2 (but not Th1) responses. Although DC exposed to both Ag undergo many of the maturation-associated changes that accompany exposure to Pa alone, Pa-induced IL-12 production was inhibited by SEA. Examination of Ag uptake revealed that SEA and Pa are acquired via discrete pathways and enter nonoverlapping intracellular compartments. Data suggest that segregation of SEA and Pa into distinct compartments, coupled with SEA-induced modifications of the DC maturation pathway, are significant components of the ability of DC to interpret signals inherent to SEA and Pa and induce appropriately polarized Th responses.

Title Progress Towards a Vaccine for Schistosomiasis.
Date September 2003
Journal Acta Tropica
Excerpt

Schistosomiasis continues to be a significant health problem, especially in Africa. While the recent World Health Assembly resolution to apply mass drug treatment of school age children in endemic areas is a very promising development, a preferable long-term solution would be provided by a protective vaccine. Encouragingly, one vaccine, Bilhvax, is in phase II trials. However, there is a danger that momentum towards the goal of developing a vaccine against schistosomiasis is dissipating. This article reviews the current situation in this important area of schistosomiasis research.

Title Lack of C3 Affects Th2 Response Development and the Sequelae of Chemotherapy in Schistosomiasis.
Date March 2003
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

The role of the third component of complement (C3) during schistosome infection was investigated using mice deficient in C3. While no effect was observed 8 wk after infection on worm development or liver pathology, Ag-specific Th2-associated cytokine production (IL-13, IL-5, IL-6, and IL-10) was significantly reduced, and IFN-gamma production was enhanced in the absence of C3. IgG1 and IgE, but not IgG2a or IgM, Ab responses were also significantly impaired in infected C3(-/-) mice, suggesting that C3 may play a role in IL-4-mediated Th2 response enhancement during schistosome infection. Furthermore, C3-deficient mice could not effectively clear adult worms after praziquantel (PZQ) treatment and suffered increased morbidity due to the overproduction of proinflammatory mediators following drug administration. However, the ischemic liver damage that normally accompanies PZQ administration in infected wild-type mice was substantially reduced in treated C3-deficient mice, probably due to the absence of dead or dying worms in the livers of these animals. Together these results indicate that C3 enhances Th2 responses during schistosome infection, potentiates PZQ-mediated parasite clearance, and reduces chemotherapy-induced proinflammatory mediator production.

Title Cd154 Plays a Central Role in Regulating Dendritic Cell Activation During Infections That Induce Th1 or Th2 Responses.
Date March 2003
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

We compared splenic DC activation during infection with either the Th2 response-inducing parasite Schistosoma mansoni or with the Th1 response-inducing parasite Toxoplasma gondii. CD8alpha(+) DC from schistosome-infected mice exhibited a 2- to 3-fold increase in the expression of MHC class II, CD80, and CD40 (but not CD86) compared with DC from uninfected control animals, while CD8alpha(-) DC exhibited a 2- to 3-fold increase in the expression of MHC class II and CD80 and no alteration, compared with DC from uninfected mice, in the expression of CD86 or CD40. Intracellular staining revealed that DC did not produce IL-12 during infection with S. mansoni. In contrast, infection with T. gondii resulted in a more pronounced increase in the expression of activation-associated molecules (MHC class II, CD80, CD86, and CD40) on both CD8alpha(-) and CD8alpha(+) splenic DC and promoted elevated IL-12 production by DC. Analysis of MHC class I and of additional costimulatory molecules (ICOSL, ICAM-1, OX40L, 4-1BBL, and B7-DC) revealed a generally similar pattern, with greater indication of activation in T. gondii-infected mice compared with S. mansoni-infected animals. Strikingly, the activation of DC observed during infection with either parasite was not apparent in DC from infected CD154(-/-) mice, indicating that CD40/CD154 interactions are essential for maintaining DC activation during infection regardless of whether the outcome is a Th1 or a Th2 response. However, the ability of this activation pathway to induce IL-12 production by DC is restrained in S. mansoni-infected, but not T. gondii-infected, mice by Ag-responsive CD11c(-) cells.

Title Schistosomiasis Delays Lesion Resolution During Leishmania Major Infection by Impairing Parasite Killing by Macrophages.
Date October 2002
Journal Parasite Immunology
Excerpt

Infection of mice with Schistosoma mansoni delays the resolution of cutaneous lesions and parasitaemia during Leishmania major infection. In contrast, L. major infection does not appear to alter the course of schistosomiasis. Analysis of the cytokine responses in the draining lymph nodes (LN) indicates that, while L. major infection had no effect on schistosome-specific interleukin (IL)-4 production by mesenteric LN (MLN) cells, coinfection with S. mansoni resulted in decreased leishmania-induced interferon (IFN)-gamma, tumour necrosis factor-alpha and nitric oxide production by popliteal LN (PLN) cells 4 weeks after L. major infection. In addition, PLN cells produced higher levels of IL-4 4 weeks after L. major infection in coinfected mice. Finally, IFN-gamma-stimulated macrophages isolated from S. mansoni-infected mice were impaired in their ability to kill L. major after in vitro infection. These results suggest that pre-existence of a strong Th2 response-dominated infection can alter the responses to Th1-inducing pathogens at peripheral sites and impair Th1-mediated effector functions.

Title The Immunobiology of Schistosomiasis.
Date August 2002
Journal Nature Reviews. Immunology
Excerpt

Schistosomes are parasitic worms that are a prime example of a complex multicellular pathogen that flourishes in the human host despite the development of a pronounced immune response. Understanding how the immune system deals with such pathogens is a daunting challenge. The past decade has seen the use of a wide range of new approaches to determine the nature and function of the immune response to schistosomes. Here, we attempt to summarize advances in our understanding of the immunology of schistosomiasis, with the bulk of the review reflecting the experimental focus on Schistosoma mansoni infection in mice.

Title 14-3-3 Proteins in Schistosoma Mansoni; Identification of a Second Epsilon Isoform.
Date August 2002
Journal International Journal for Parasitology
Excerpt

A new member of the 14-3-3 protein family in Schistosoma mansoni has been identified. Sequence analysis demonstrated that this protein is a member of the epsilon sub-group and is the orthologue of Schistosoma japonicum 14-3-3epsilon. Since we had previously identified a 14-3-3epsilon protein from S. mansoni, we termed the original protein 14-3-3epsilon-1 and this second epsilon protein 14-3-3epsilon-2. Schistosoma mansoni encodes at least four different 14-3-3 isoforms: the two epsilon proteins and 14-3-3 protein 1 and protein 2, which are zeta-like isoforms. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated the early divergence of the epsilon isoforms, and that schistosome proteins 1 and 2 are among the oldest non-epsilon 14-3-3 proteins yet identified. Schistosoma mansoni 14-3-3epsilon-1, 14-3-3epsilon-2, and protein 1 are stage specifically expressed in a similar manner, being absent in cercariae and schistosomula, and abundant in lung stage and adult male and female worms. Protein 2 transcript was not detected at any of the life cycle stages examined. All three detected 14-3-3 isoforms elicit an immune response during infection, with the greatest response directed against protein 1. Binding studies with S. mansoni receptor kinase-1 (SmRK1) and human Raf kinase revealed that the three 14-3-3epsilon isoforms exhibit a preference for target protein binding. Although all three isoforms do bind to both targets, 14-3-3 protein 1 interacts most strongly with Raf, whereas the 14-3-3-1 isoform binds SmRK1 preferentially. These results suggest that the individual 14-3-3 proteins may have evolved to play isoform-specific roles in the development and survival of S. mansoni within its host.

Title Transforming Growth Factor-beta and Insulin-like Signalling Pathways in Parasitic Helminths.
Date July 2002
Journal International Journal for Parasitology
Excerpt

The signal transduction pathways involved in regulating developmental arrest in the free-living nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, are fairly well characterised. However, much less is known about how these processes may influence the developmental timing and maturation in helminth parasites. Here, we provide an overview of two signalling pathways implicated in the regulation of dauer larva formation in C. elegans, the insulin-like signalling pathway and the transforming growth factor-beta pathway, and explore what is known about these signalling pathways in a variety of parasitic helminths. Understanding the differences about how these pathways are affected by environmental cues in free-living versus parasitic species of helminths may provide insights into novel mechanisms for the control or prevention of helminth-induced disease.

Title Impaired Th2 Development and Increased Mortality During Schistosoma Mansoni Infection in the Absence of Cd40/cd154 Interaction.
Date May 2002
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

The role of CD40/CD154 interaction during infection has primarily focused on pathogens that drive inflammatory Th1 responses. In this study, we show that CD40/CD154 interaction is a fundamental requirement for Th2 response development to the parasitic helminth Schistosoma mansoni. Compared with infected wild-type mice, greatly reduced levels of Th2-associated cytokines were measured both in vitro and in vivo, and no IgE or IgG1 was detected in infected CD154(-/-) mice. In the absence of an overt Th2 response, no exaggerated Th1 response was mounted by CD154(-/-) mice. Infected CD154(-/-) mice suffered severe morbidity and mortality, even though parasitemias in wild-type and CD154(-/-) mice did not differ significantly. These data indicate that CD40/CD154 interaction is required to allow development of a Th2-dominated immune response to S. mansoni and support the view that failure to develop such a response can have fatal consequences.

Title Cutting Edge: Polarized Th Cell Response Induction by Transferred Antigen-pulsed Dendritic Cells is Dependent on Il-4 or Il-12 Production by Recipient Cells.
Date May 2002
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

To assess the influence of dendritic cell (DC) production of polarizing cytokines on Th2 and Th1 development we transferred Ag-pulsed DC generated from wild-type, IL-4(-/-), or IL-12(-/-) mice into wild-type, IL-4(-/-), or IL-12(-/-) recipients. We found that DC IL-4 was not necessary for Th2 induction and that, surprisingly, DC IL-12 was not an absolute requirement for Th1 development. However, DC IL-12 production facilitated optimal Th1 response development. Critically, recipient ability to produce IL-4 or IL-12 was essential for either Th2 or Th1 development. These data help delineate the source and importance of IL-4 and IL-12 in the process of induction of polarized T cell responses by DC.

Title Immunology of Parasitic Helminth Infections.
Date February 2002
Journal Infection and Immunity
Title Eukaryotic Initiation Factor 2 Alpha Subunit Associates with Tgf Beta Receptors and 14-3-3 Epsilon and Acts As a Modulator of the Tgf Beta Response.
Date February 2002
Journal Biochemistry
Excerpt

Schistosoma mansoni receptor kinase 1 (SmRK1) is a divergent member of the TGF beta receptor family. Intracellular proteins that associate with these receptors are likely to play an important role in signaling. 14-3-3 epsilon is a previously described cytoplasmic protein, which associates with both SmRK1 and the human type I TGF beta receptor (T beta RI); overexpression of 14-3-3 epsilon leads to enhanced TGF beta-mediated signaling by T beta RI. We now describe the identification of S. mansoni eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha subunit (eIF2 alpha), through its interaction with SmRK1 in a yeast two-hybrid assay. S. mansoni eIF2 alpha also interacts with human TGF beta receptors. Strongest association was demonstrated with kinase inactive receptors, particularly the type II TGF beta receptor (T beta RII). Both T beta RI and T beta RII phosphorylate eIF2 alpha in vitro, at sites other than the previously described eIF2 alpha phosphorylation sites. EIF2 alpha also modulates signaling by TGF beta receptors; however, in contrast to 14-3-3 epsilon, eIF2 alpha overexpression inhibits the TGF beta-driven response. These data suggest a novel function for eIF2 alpha in the TGF beta signaling pathway. In addition, we have demonstrated an independent interaction between eIF2 alpha and 14-3-3 epsilon. Coexpression of 14-3-3 epsilon with eIF2 alpha leads to the abrogation of the inhibitory effect of eIF2 alpha on TGF beta-mediated signaling. The interaction of these two regulatory proteins with each other and with the TGF beta receptors and their relative expression levels are likely to be important in fine-tuning the regulation of TGF beta signal transduction.

Title Cutting Edge: Th2 Response Induction by Dendritic Cells: a Role for Cd40.
Date January 2002
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

We investigated the influence of dendritic cell (DC) CD40 expression on Th2 and Th1 development by in vivo transfer of Ag-pulsed bone marrow-derived DC generated from wild-type (WT) or CD40(-/-) mice. Contrary to expectation, CD40(-/-) DC primed with Ag that inherently induce a Th2 response (soluble egg Ag from Schistosoma mansoni) failed to induce a Th2 response or any compensatory Th1 response, whereas CD40(-/-)DC primed with Ag that inherently induce a Th1 response (Propionibacterium acnes) generated a competent Th1 response. Thus, DC expression of CD40 is a prerequisite for initiation of Th2, but not Th1, responses by these Ag. Consistent with this, CD154(-/-) mice, unlike WT mice, failed to mount a Th2 response when directly injected with schistosome eggs but mounted a normal Th1 response after challenge with P. acnes. CD40-CD154 interaction can therefore play a major role in Th2 response induction.

Title Clinical and Immunologic Evaluation of 31 Patients with Acute Schistosomiasis Mansoni.
Date January 2002
Journal The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Excerpt

Thirty-one patients with acute schistosomiasis were evaluated clinically and immunologically. Cytokine levels were determined in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) supernatants. Levels of total and antigen-specific IgE, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, and immune complexes were measured in serum samples. Clinical findings included general symptoms, liver damage, pulmonary involvement, and pericarditis. All patients had eosinophilia. Immune complexes were detected in 55% of the patients (mean+/-SD, 7.8+/-7.6 microg Eq/mL) and were associated with cough, dyspnea, and abnormal chest radiographic findings. Levels (mean +/- SD) of TNF-alpha (1349.3+/-767.6 pg/mL), interleukin (IL)-1 (2683+/-1270 pg/mL), and IL-6 (382 +/- 52.3 pg/mL) were elevated in PBMC. Serum TNF-alpha levels were elevated in 87% of the patients and were associated with abdominal pain. Higher interferon-gamma levels were detected in PBMC of patients with acute disease than in those of patients with chronic schistosomiasis; IL-5 levels were higher in those with chronic disease. Low IL-5 levels were associated with weight loss. Proinflammatory cytokines and immune complexes with low Th2 responses might explain the immunopathogenesis of acute schistosomiasis.

Title Central Role for Interleukin-4 in Regulating Nitric Oxide-mediated Inhibition of T-cell Proliferation and Gamma Interferon Production in Schistosomiasis.
Date January 2002
Journal Infection and Immunity
Excerpt

Schistosoma mansoni-infected wild-type (WT) mice develop a Th2 response and chronic disease. In contrast, infected interleukin-4 double-deficient (IL-4(-/-)) mice develop a Th1-like response and an acute, lethal syndrome. Disease severity in these animals correlates with excessive and prolonged production of nitric oxide (NO) associated with enhanced antigen-driven gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) production in the absence of IL-4. Strikingly, splenic lymphocytes from infected IL-4(-/-) mice failed to proliferate as well as those from infected WT mice following stimulation in vitro with antigen or anti-CD3 antibody. Contrary to antigen-driven IFN-gamma responses, anti-CD3 antibody stimulation of splenocytes resulted in significantly less IFN-gamma being produced by CD8 cells from infected IL-4(-/-) mice than by those from infected WT mice or normal mice. NO is largely responsible for the impaired T-cell functions in infected IL-4(-/-) mice, as inhibition of iNOS significantly enhanced proliferation and IFN-gamma production.

Title Differential Regulation of Nitric Oxide Synthase-2 and Arginase-1 by Type 1/type 2 Cytokines in Vivo: Granulomatous Pathology is Shaped by the Pattern of L-arginine Metabolism.
Date January 2002
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

Type 2 cytokines regulate fibrotic liver pathology in mice infected with Schistosoma mansoni. Switching the immune response to a type 1-dominant reaction has proven highly effective at reducing the pathologic response. Activation of NOS-2 is critical, because type 1-deviated/NO synthase 2 (NOS-2)-deficient mice completely fail to control their response. Here, we demonstrate the differential regulation of NOS-2 and arginase type 1 (Arg-1) by type 1/type 2 cytokines in vivo and for the first time show a critical role for arginase in the pathogenesis of schistosomiasis. Using cytokine-deficient mice and two granuloma models, we show that induction of Arg-1 is type 2 cytokine dependent. Schistosome eggs induce Arg-1, while Mycobacterium avium-infected mice develop a dominant NOS-2 response. IFN-gamma suppresses Arg-1 activity, because type 1 polarized IL-4/IL-10-deficient, IL-4/IL-13-deficient, and egg/IL-12-sensitized animals fail to up-regulate Arg-1 following egg exposure. Notably, granuloma size decreases in these type-1-deviated/Arg-1-unresponsive mice, suggesting an important regulatory role for Arg-1 in schistosome egg-induced pathology. To test this hypothesis, we administered difluoromethylornithine to block ornithine-aminodecarboxylase, which uses the product of arginine metabolism, L-ornithine, to generate polyamines. Strikingly, granuloma size and hepatic fibrosis increased in the ornithine-aminodecarboxylase-inhibited mice. Furthermore, we show that type 2 cytokine-stimulated macrophages produce proline under strict arginase control. Together, these data reveal an important regulatory role for the arginase biosynthetic pathway in the regulation of inflammation and demonstrate that differential activation of Arg-1/NOS-2 is a critical determinant in the pathogenesis of granuloma formation.

Title Role of Gamma Interferon in the Pathogenesis of Severe Schistosomiasis in Interleukin-4-deficient Mice.
Date December 2001
Journal Infection and Immunity
Excerpt

In the absence of interleukin-4 (IL-4), infection with Schistosoma mansoni leads to a severe fatal disease rather than the chronic survivable condition that occurs in wild-type (WT) mice. Because the sustained production of NO most closely correlates to weight loss and fatality in infected IL-4(-/-) mice and because gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) is an important inducer of inducible NO synthase, infected IL-4(-/-) mice were treated with anti-IFN-gamma antibodies to determine the role of IFN-gamma during schistosomiasis in WT and IL-4(-/-) animals. When IFN-gamma was neutralized, Th2 responses were enhanced and NO production was reduced in both WT and IL-4(-/-) mice. The decreased NO production correlated with a rescue of proliferation in splenocytes from infected IL-4(-/-) mice. Furthermore, the neutralization of IFN-gamma in vivo improved the gross appearance of the liver and led to a reduction in granuloma size in infected IL-4(-/-) but not WT mice. However, the neutralization of IFN-gamma in vivo did not affect the development of severe disease in infected IL-4(-/-) mice. These results suggest that while the increased production of IFN-gamma does lead to some of the pathology observed in infected IL-4(-/-) mice, it is not ultimately responsible for cachexia and death.

Title Profound Effect of the Absence of Il-4 on T Cell Responses During Infection with Schistosoma Mansoni.
Date December 2001
Journal Journal of Leukocyte Biology
Excerpt

T cell responses of interleukin (IL)-4(-/-) and wild-type (WT) mice infected with the helper T cell 2 (Th2) response-inducing pathogen Schistosoma mansoni were compared. As expected, given the important role of IL-4 in Th2 response induction, the absence of IL-4 resulted in diminished Th2 responses, apparent as reduced production of IL-4, -5, and -10 by CD4(+) cells isolated from the spleens of infected IL-4(-/-) mice. Surprisingly, these cells produced significantly less interferon (IFN)-gamma and proliferated less than did those from infected WT mice after T cell receptor ligation. CD8(+) cells isolated from infected IL-4(-/-) mice also produced less IFN-gamma than WT CD8 cells, although there was no difference in the proliferative responses of these cell populations. After infection, spleens of infected IL-4(-/-) mice did not enlarge to the same extent as those of WT mice, and attrition of the CD8(+) cell population within this lymphoid organ was noted. Taken together, the data indicate that in addition to inhibiting Th2 response development, the lack of IL-4 during schistosomiasis significantly affects additional aspects of T cell responses.

Title Cd8- Dendritic Cell Activation Status Plays an Integral Role in Influencing Th2 Response Development.
Date December 2001
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

Whether dendritic cells (DC) play a passive or active role in Th2 response induction is poorly understood. In this study, we show that CD8- DC pulsed with Th2-polarizing Ag (soluble egg Ag (SEA)) from Schistosoma mansoni potently stimulate Th2 responses in vivo and in vitro while failing to undergo a conventional maturation process. Thus, in contrast to DC pulsed with the Th1 response inducing Ag Propionebacterium acnes, SEA-exposed DC exhibit a phenotype that is most similar to that of immature DC, failing to up-regulate expression of CD40, CD54, CD80, CD86, or OX40L; producing no detectable IL-4, IL-10, or IL-12; and displaying only a minor increase in MHC class II expression. Importantly, in vitro derived DC exposed to SEA were phenotypically similar to CD8- DC isolated from active S. mansoni infection. By discriminating between different types of pathogen and responding appropriately, CD8- DC play a major role in the decision process to mount either a Th1 or Th2 response.

Title Sip, a Novel Sh3 Domain-containing Protein, Interacts with Schistosoma Mansoni Receptor Kinase 1.
Date September 2001
Journal Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Title Human Transforming Growth Factor-beta Activates a Receptor Serine/threonine Kinase from the Intravascular Parasite Schistosoma Mansoni.
Date September 2001
Journal The Journal of Biological Chemistry
Excerpt

The biology of the helminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni is closely integrated with that of its mammalian host. SmRK1, a divergent type I transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) receptor of unknown ligand specificity, was previously identified as a candidate for a receptor that allows schistosomes to respond to host-derived growth factors. The TGF-beta family includes activin, bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), and TGF-beta, all of which can play crucial roles in metazoan development. The downstream signaling protein of receptors that respond to TGF-beta and activin is Smad2, whereas the receptors that respond to BMPs signal via Smad1. When a constitutively active mutant of SmRK1 was overexpressed with either schistosome Smad1 (SmSmad1) or SmSmad2, a receptor-dependent modulation of SmSmad phosphorylation and luciferase reporter activity occurred only with SmSmad2. To evaluate potential ligand activators of SmRK1, a chimeric receptor containing the extracellular domain of SmRK1 joined to the intracellular domain of the human type I TGF-beta receptor was used. The chimeric receptor bound radiolabeled TGF-beta and could activate a luciferase reporter gene in response to both TGF-beta 1 and TGF-beta 3 but not BMP7. Confirmatory results were obtained using full-length SmRK1. These experiments implicate TGF-beta as a ligand for SmRK1 and as a potential host-derived regulator of parasite growth and development.

Title Interleukin-12 Promotes Pathologic Liver Changes and Death in Mice Coinfected with Schistosoma Mansoni and Toxoplasma Gondii.
Date May 2001
Journal Infection and Immunity
Excerpt

We previously demonstrated that mice concurrently infected with Schistosoma mansoni and Toxoplasma gondii undergo accelerated mortality which is preceded by severe liver damage. Abnormally high levels of serum tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) in the dually infected mice suggested a role for this and related proinflammatory mediators in the pathologic alterations. In order to evaluate the factors involved in increased inflammatory-mediator production and mortality, interleukin-12(-/-) (IL-12(-/-)) mice were coinfected with S. mansoni and T. gondii, and survival and immune responses were monitored. These IL-12(-/-) mice displayed decreased liver damage and prolonged time to death relative to wild-type animals also coinfected with these parasites. Relative to the response of cells from the coinfected wild-type animals, levels of TNF-alpha, gamma interferon, and NO produced by splenocytes from coinfected IL-12(-/-) mice were reduced, and levels of IL-5 and IL-10 were increased, with the net result that the immune response of the dually infected IL-12(-/-) mice was similar to that of the wild-type mice infected with S. mansoni alone. While dually infected wild-type animals succumb in the absence of overt parasitemia, the delayed death in the absence of IL-12 is associated with relatively uncontrolled T. gondii replication. These data support the view that S. mansoni-infected mice are acutely sensitive to infection with T. gondii as a result of their increased hepatic sensitivity to high levels of proinflammatory cytokines; IL-12 and TNF-alpha are implicated in this process.

Title Il-4 Plays a Crucial Role in Regulating Oxidative Damage in the Liver During Schistosomiasis.
Date April 2001
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

Liver enlargement and hepatocyte proliferation, normal responses in wild-type (WT) mice infected with the parasitic helminth Schistosoma mansoni, were found to be severely impaired in infected IL-4(-/-) mice. Compared with WT mice, increased levels of O(2)(-), NO, and the more highly reactive ONOO(-) were detected in the liver and produced by lesional cells isolated from liver granulomas of infected IL-4(-/-) mice. Concurrently, antioxidant defenses in the liver, specifically catalase levels, diminished dramatically during the course of infection in these animals. This contrasted to the situation in infected WT mice, where catalase levels remained as high as those in normal mice. Actual levels of reactive oxygen and nitrogen intermediates in the livers of infected IL-4(-/-) animals are thus likely to be considerably higher than those in the livers of infected WT mice. To determine whether these changes contributed to the development of the more severe disease that characterizes infection in the IL-4(-/-) animals, we treated infected IL-4(-/-) mice with uric acid, a potent scavenger of ONOO(-). This resulted in significantly increased hepatocyte proliferation, decreased morbidity, and prolonged survival. Taken together, these data indicate that IL-4 is playing a protective role during schistosomiasis by controlling the tight regulation of the generation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen intermediates in the liver.

Title Conserved Role for 14-3-3epsilon Downstream of Type I Tgfbeta Receptors.
Date March 2001
Journal Febs Letters
Excerpt

Schistosoma mansoni receptor kinase-1 (SmRK1) is a divergent type I transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) receptor on the surface of adult parasites. Using the intracellular domain of SmRK1 as bait in a yeast two-hybrid screen we identified an interaction with S. mansoni 14-3-3epsilon. The interaction which is phosphorylation-dependent is not specific to schistosomes since 14-3-3epsilon also binds to TbetaRI, the human type I TGFbeta receptor. 14-3-3epsilon enhances TGFbeta-mediated signaling by TbetaRI and is the first TbetaRI-interacting non-Smad protein identified that positively regulates this receptor. The interaction of 14-3-3epsilon with schistosome and human TbetaRI suggests a conserved, but previously unappreciated, role for this protein in TGFbeta signaling pathways.

Title Severe Schistosomiasis in the Absence of Interleukin-4 (il-4) is Il-12 Independent.
Date January 2001
Journal Infection and Immunity
Excerpt

An interleukin-4 (IL-4)-dependent Th2 response allows wild-type mice to survive infection with the parasite Schistosoma mansoni. In the absence of IL-4, infected mice mount a Th1-like proinflammatory response, develop severe disease, and succumb. Neither the Th1 response nor morbidity is IL-12 dependent in this system.

Title Functional Conservation of Schistosoma Mansoni Smads in Tgf-beta Signaling.
Date January 2001
Journal Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Excerpt

To begin to understand the molecular basis of communication between the parasite Schistosoma mansoni and its mammalian host, we are studying the signaling pathway downstream of S. mansoni receptor kinase-1 (SmRK1), a divergent type I transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) receptor found on the tegumental surface of the parasite. In this study, we have used a homology based PCR approach to clone two S. mansoni Smad (SmSmad) genes; Smads play a pivotal role in the most well understood signaling pathways initiated by the TGF-beta family of ligands in other organisms. Comparison of the amino acid sequences with those of other Smads reveals that the conserved MH1 and MH2 domains of SmSmads show a high degree of identity to homologues in Drosophila. Transcripts for both SmSmads are detected in the same developmental stages as SmRK1, and both are capable of interacting with the intracellular domain of the receptor in vitro. Functional characterization using the human type I TGF-beta receptor further confirms the highly conserved nature of these proteins, as both SmSmads show TGF-beta dependent enhancement of luciferase activity and nuclear translocation in mammalian cells. These data are the first to show a TGF-beta-like receptor/Smad signaling pathway in parasitic helminths and by analogy with other systems, is likely important in regulating schistosome development.

Title Immunology of Hepatosplenic Schistosomiasis Mansoni: a Human Perspective.
Date June 2000
Journal Microbes and Infection / Institut Pasteur
Title Role of Il-6 in Directing the Initial Immune Response to Schistosome Eggs.
Date March 2000
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

The eggs of Schistosoma mansoni are strong inducers of a Th2 response, and previous work has shown that Ag-specific IL-6 is produced within 24 h after the injection of eggs into mice. Investigations to determine the role of IL-6 in orchestrating the early response to schistosome eggs have revealed that IL-12 is rapidly produced in lymph node cell cultures from egg-injected mice. This "early" IL-12 primes for the production of IL-6 and IFN-gamma, for in IL-12-/- mice egg injection fails to stimulate increased production of either of these cytokines. Furthermore, IL-6 also up-regulates IL-10 production which, together with IL-6, negatively regulates IL-12 and IFN-gamma production. Finally, IL-10 down-regulates the production of its inducer, IL-6. These data indicate that the anti-inflammatory role of IL-6 may be effected through negative regulation of type 1 (IFN-gamma) and type 1-associated (IL-12) cytokines either directly (by IL-6) or indirectly (through the induction of IL-10) and suggest that one mechanism by which eggs may support the development of Th2 responses is through the negative regulation of the type 1 response.

Title Caveolae-like Structures in the Surface Membrane of Schistosoma Mansoni.
Date February 2000
Journal Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Excerpt

Specialized regions of cellular membranes termed detergent-insoluble glycosphingolipid-enriched membrane domains (DIG) have been identified in mammalian cells and shown to contain signalling molecules, cholesterol, sphingolipids and caveolae. Here we report that the unusual double surface membrane of the tegument of the trematode parasite Schistosoma mansoni possesses biochemically distinct domains analogous to DIG. When subjected to sucrose density gradient centrifugation, a detergent-extracted tegument from adult parasites yielded a low-density fraction consisting of detergent-insoluble complexes (DIC). Several tegument proteins were concentrated in DIC and a subset of these were labelled when adult schistosomes were biotinylated using a membrane-impermeant reactive biotin prior to extraction. The GPI-linked proteins alkaline phosphatase (SmAP), Sm200, the membrane-bound protein Sm23, and a protein recognized by an antibody against human caveolin, co-purified with DIC whereas soluble proteins, such as paramyosin and aldolase, were found at the bottom of the gradient. Antibodies against DIC immunoprecipitated a subset of worm surface proteins and immunolabeled the dorsal tegument of adult worms. Transmission electron microscopy of DIC revealed caveolae-like structures in the double bilayer surface structure. These results suggest that the tegument of adult S. mansoni possesses specialized membrane domains that are resistant to detergent-extraction, contain a subset of total tegument membrane proteins, and bear caveola-like invaginations, and thus are analogous to DIG.

Title Atypical Post-translational Modification and Targeting of a Schistosoma Mansoni Surface Receptor, a Member of the Transforming Growth Factor Beta Receptor Family of Cell Surface Receptors.
Date February 2000
Journal Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Excerpt

The surface membrane of the intravascular parasite Schistosoma mansoni is composed of not one but two closely apposed lipid bilayers which overlie a syncytial cellular layer, known as the tegument or neodermis. To gain insights into how membrane proteins are transported to and displayed on this unusual surface structure, we have investigated the post-translational modification and targeting of SmRK-1, a receptor and type I membrane protein expressed on the parasite surface, using heterologous expression systems. While SmRK-1 enters the secretory pathway in these systems, our data indicate that the SmRK-1 N-terminal signal peptide is either not cleaved by signal peptidase or is only eleven amino acids long or less. Retention of the signal peptide is accompanied by N-linked glycosylation of an asparagine residue within the predicted signal peptide. The SmRK-1 signal peptide is not capable of directing another cytoplasmic protein to the secretory pathway, suggesting that the signal for insertion of the SmRK-1 extracellular domain into the endoplasmic reticulum resides elsewhere in the protein. Further, SmRK-1 is inefficiently transported to the cell surface in mammalian cells, suggesting that the schistosome neodermis possesses specialized systems for receptor targeting and localization.

Title Nitric Oxide and the Th2 Response Combine to Prevent Severe Hepatic Damage During Schistosoma Mansoni Infection.
Date November 1999
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

During infection with Schistosoma mansoni, NO production increases following the deposition of parasite eggs in the liver. In wild-type C57BL/6 mice, NO levels peak during the sixth week of infection and are subsequently down-regulated. Inducible NO synthase (iNOS) mRNA was found in diseased liver tissue along with TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma, which are known promoters of iNOS expression. Mice treated with aminoguanidine, a selective inhibitor of iNOS, exhibited cachexia and exacerbated liver pathology, suggesting that NO limits hepatocyte damage when the liver is first exposed to eggs. Hepatic iNOS is up-regulated in SCID mice, indicating that NO production is part of an innate response. Studies with infected highly susceptible IL-4-/- mice revealed that prolonged NO production is in itself deleterious and that a major function of the Th2 response, which is severely compromised in the absence of IL-4, is to regulate NO production. In these animals, plasma NO levels are high compared with those in infected wild-type mice and remain elevated until death. Nevertheless, the underlying importance of NO is illustrated by the finding that aminoguanidine treatment leads to more severe liver disease and reduced time to death in infected IL-4-/- mice.

Title Toxoplasma Gondii and Schistosoma Mansoni Synergize to Promote Hepatocyte Dysfunction Associated with High Levels of Plasma Tnf-alpha and Early Death in C57bl/6 Mice.
Date September 1999
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

To address the question of how the murine host responds to a prototypic type 1 cytokine inducer while concurrently undergoing a helminth-induced type 2 cytokine response, C57BL/6 strain animals with patent schistosomiasis mansoni were orally infected with the cystogenic Toxoplasma gondii strain ME49. Schistosoma mansoni infection resulted in a significantly higher mortality rate when mice were subsequently orally infected with ME49, and these animals displayed a defective IFN-gamma and NO response relative to animals infected with T. gondii alone. Plasma levels of TNF-alpha and aspartate transaminase in double-infected mice were greatly elevated relative to mice infected with either parasite alone. Consistent with the latter observation, these animals exhibited severe liver pathology, with regions of coagulative necrosis and hepatocyte vacuolization unapparent in mice carrying either infection alone. Interestingly, mean egg granuloma size was approximately 50% of that in mice with S. mansoni infection alone. The exacerbated liver pathology in coinfected mice did not appear to be a result of uncontrolled tachyzoite replication, because both parasite-specific RT-PCR analysis and immunohistochemical staining demonstrated a low number of tachyzoites in the liver. We hypothesize that mortality in these animals results from the high level of systemic TNF-alpha, which mediates a severe liver pathology culminating in death of the animal.

Title Schistosoma Mansoni: Il-4 is Necessary for Concomitant Immunity in Mice.
Date September 1999
Journal The Journal of Parasitology
Excerpt

To ask whether type-2 immune responses serve an essential role in concomitant immunity, that is the prevention of superinfection with Schistosoma mansoni, we compared resistance to a challenge infection in infected wild-type (WT) mice and in infected IL-4-/- mice, which are unable to mount Th2 responses during schistosomiasis. Although WT mice are protected from superinfection, resistance is abrogated in the absence of interleukin (IL)-4. We conclude that IL-4 or IL-4-dependent responses, or both, are necessary for resistance to S. mansoni superinfection in mice.

Title Interleukin 5 (il-5) is Not Required for Expression of a Th2 Response or Host Resistance Mechanisms During Murine Schistosomiasis Mansoni but Does Play a Role in Development of Il-4-producing Non-t, Non-b Cells.
Date June 1999
Journal Infection and Immunity
Excerpt

During schistosomiasis, interleukin-5 (IL-5)-dependent eosinophil responses have been implicated in immunopathology, resistance to superinfection, synergistic interactions with chemotherapeutic agents, and the inductive phase of the egg-induced Th2 response. We examined these issues in IL-5-deficient (IL-5(-/-)) mice. IL-5(-/-) and wild-type (WT) mice were indistinguishable in terms of susceptibility to primary infections and the ability to resist secondary infections. Moreover, hepatic pathology was similar in both strains apart from a relative lack of eosinophils and, during chronic infection, a significantly larger mast cell component in the granulomas of IL-5(-/-) mice. Splenocyte cytokine production in response to soluble egg antigen (SEA) or anti-CD3 revealed no significant differences except for heightened tumor necrosis factor alpha production by cells from chronically infected IL-5(-/-) mice compared to WT animals. In contrast, ionomycin-stimulated non-B, non-T (NBNT) cells from IL-5(-/-) mice produced significantly smaller IL-4 amounts than did NBNT cells from WT animals. This difference was not apparent following plate-bound anti-immunoglobulin E or SEA stimulation. The absence of IL-5 failed to affect the induction of Th2 responses in naive mice. Peritoneal exudate cells recovered from egg-injected IL-5(-/-) or WT mice produced equivalent levels of IL-4 following restimulation with SEA or anti-CD3.

Title The Absence of Il-6 Does Not Affect Th2 Cell Development in Vivo, but Does Lead to Impaired Proliferation, Il-2 Receptor Expression, and B Cell Responses.
Date June 1999
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

The role of IL-6 in Th2 cell differentiation and response development after the injection of eggs from Schistosoma mansoni was investigated using wild-type (WT) and IL-6-/- mice. IL-6 was induced in the lymph nodes (LN) of WT mice within 24 h of egg injection, and IL-4 production by WT LN cells and CD4 T cells isolated 24 h after egg injection and stimulated in vitro was observed. In the absence of IL-6, this early production of IL-4 by LN cells and purified CD4 T cells was not abolished; although the level of IL-4 produced by IL-6-/- LN cells was similar to WT, IL-4 production by purified IL-6-/- CD4 T cells was reduced compared with WT. Despite the difference in CD4 T cell production of IL-4, the development of egg-specific Th2 cells 7 days after egg injection was not affected by the absence of IL-6. Nevertheless, Ab production was impaired and the in vitro proliferative response of whole LN cell populations, CD4 and CD8 T cells, and B cells from IL-6-/- mice was poor compared with WT. The proliferative defect in the IL-6-/- cells correlated with decreased IL-2R expression, and addition of exogenous IL-6 enhanced IL-2R expression as well as proliferation of LN cells from IL-6-/- mice. These studies demonstrate that Th2 differentiation and response development in vivo is not dependent on IL-6, but that Th-dependent and independent B cell responses are. Our results also emphasize the importance of IL-6 for lymphoproliferation, possibly through induction of IL-2R expression.

Title The Initiation and Function of Th2 Responses During Infection with Schistosoma Mansoni.
Date February 1999
Journal Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Excerpt

Through experiments in which pro-inflammatory mediators have been neutralized in schistosomeinfected WT and IL-4 -/- mice we have been investigating the nature of the immune response that is required to allow survival during the period of acute disease that accompanies the onset of egg production by the parasitic worms. The developing picture is that of an early pro-inflammatory type-1 like response (characterized by the production of IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha and NO) which in the short term is able to control the deleterious effects on the liver associated with the arrival of the eggs, followed rapidly by a potent egg-induced Th2 response which simultaneously subsumes the role of protecting the liver and downregulates the production of the inflammatory mediators, thereby averting the serious consequence associated with the continued high level production of NO. Current research is directed towards: 1) understanding how pro-inflammatory mediators are protective during schistosomiasis, and 2) elucidating the underlying mechanisms through which the Th response is biased in a Th2 direction following exposure to schistosome eggs.

Title A Divergent Member of the Transforming Growth Factor Beta Receptor Family from Schistosoma Mansoni is Expressed on the Parasite Surface Membrane.
Date June 1998
Journal The Journal of Biological Chemistry
Excerpt

To optimize reproductive success under the limitations determined by conditions within an individual host, parasitic helminths have evolved mechanisms that allow them to detect and respond to host factors such as species, age, sex, reproductive condition, and immune status. Using the model helminth Schistosoma mansoni, we have explored the possibility that parasitic helminths express signal-transducing receptor molecules on their surfaces. Here, we present the identification of a schistosome member of the transforming growth factor beta receptor family of cell-surface receptors, the first member of this family to be identified in a platyhelminth. The putative protein kinase domain of the schistosome receptor displays up to 58% amino acid identity to kinase domains of other type I receptor serine-threonine kinases, and contains a potential "GS domain," suggesting it is a divergent member of the type I receptor subfamily. This receptor is expressed on the surface of the parasite's syncytial tegument and expression of receptor messenger RNA and protein is up-regulated following infection of the mammalian host. The receptor protein can be isolated in a phosphorylated form from adult parasites, which together with its surface location, suggests that it functions in transducing signals across the parasite surface membrane.

Title The Use of Human Faeces for Fertilizer is Associated with Increased Intensity of Hookworm Infection in Vietnamese Women.
Date February 1998
Journal Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Excerpt

To investigate different factors associated with hookworm infections we conducted 2 studies in a commune in northern Viet Nam. The first was part of a larger study on anaemia and covered 213 women (15-49 years of age) and their 92 children (6 months to 5 years of age) in one commune; 90% of the families reported using human faeces for fertilizer. Women who reported using fresh human faeces as fertilizer had significantly higher hookworm egg counts than women who either used treated human faeces or who did not use human faeces as fertilizer. The second study examined how human faeces were used for fertilizer in 30 selected families. Women participated in preparation and application of human faeces to crops in 81% of the families using human faeces for fertilizer. Two methods of preparing the faeces were described: 48% of the families mixed the faeces with ash before applying them to the field; 18% mixed the faeces with water; 33% used both methods.

Title Schistosoma Mansoni Infection Induces a Type 1 Cd8+ Cell Response.
Date November 1997
Journal Behring Institute Mitteilungen
Excerpt

We have found that infection with the large extracellular parasite S. mansoni leads to the development of a type 1 CD8+ T cell response. While there are many poorly understood aspects of this immune response, our working hypothesis is that it functions primarily to regulate the parasite egg-antigen induced Th2 response, which itself is responsible for circumoval granunuloma formation. This view of the activity of CD8+ cells mirrors Bloom and colleagues' postulate that type 2 CD8+ cells function to regulate Th1 responses. Since it is well recognized that Th1 and Th2 cells can cross regulate each other, why should a type 1 CD8+ rather than a Th1 response be used for the regulation of the Th2 response during schistosomiasis? The answer to this may in part lie in the apparent dependence of the type 1 CD8+ cells on IL-4. Because of this, there is little likelihood for the over-production of IFN-gamma (a potentially dangerous proinflammatory cytokine) and "suppression" is provided only when needed. Th1 cells have no such dependence on IL-4 for IFN-gamma production. Current work in the laboratory is directed towards testing the various hypotheses put forward here.

Title Il-4 Protects Against Tnf-alpha-mediated Cachexia and Death During Acute Schistosomiasis.
Date August 1997
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

To examine the role of the Th2-type response during schistosomiasis mansoni we compared disease progression in wild type (wt), and Th2-response deficient IL-4(-/-) mice. Whereas wt C57BL/6 mice tolerate infection and develop chronic disease, IL-4(-/-) C57BL/6 animals are highly susceptible, exhibiting severe acute cachexia followed by death. Data point toward morbidity in the IL-4(-/-) C57BL/6 mice being mediated by TNF-alpha, possibly through the uncontrolled production of nitric oxide in target organs such as the ileum. We propose that IL-4 prevents severe disease during schistosomiasis by regulating macrophage activation.

Title Schistosoma Mansoni Egg-induced Early Il-4 Production is Dependent Upon Il-5 and Eosinophils.
Date December 1996
Journal The Journal of Experimental Medicine
Excerpt

The initial immune response to Schistosoma mansoni eggs presumably results in IL-4 production, as schistosome eggs are strong Th2-inducing antigens and the differentiation of antigen-specific Th2 cells is largely dependent on the presence of IL-4 during priming of naive Th cells. Consistent with this concept, intraperitoneal injection of mice with schistosome eggs results in an upregulation of IL-4 production by peritoneal exudate cells (PECs) within 12 h. Egg-induced IL-4 is rapidly bound by its receptor, suggesting that this cytokine is utilized by a cell type present at the site of antigen deposition or is complexed to soluble receptor. The peak of early IL-4 production is accompanied by a local eosinophilia and the apparent disappearance of mast cells. Studies utilizing either IL-4, IL-5, or mast cell-deficient mice indicate that the eosinophilia is dependent on mast cells and IL-5 and independent of IL-4. Strikingly, egg-induced IL-4 production is absent in animals lacking the early peritoneal eosinophilia. Immunocytochemical analysis of PEC following egg injection indicates that the eosinophils themselves make IL-4. These data strongly suggest that egg-induced IL-5 plays an essential role in recruiting eosinophils to the site of antigen deposition and that it is these eosinophils that then directly produce early IL-4.

Title Il-4 in Schistosomiasis.
Date December 1996
Journal Experimental Parasitology
Excerpt

This review focuses on the role of IL-4 in the immune response which develops during infection with the trematode parasite Schistosoma mansoni. The emphasis is on our own recent studies in the mouse model.

Title Schistosoma Mansoni in Il-4-deficient Mice.
Date November 1996
Journal International Immunology
Excerpt

Immunopathology and immune responses to Schistosoma mansoni were examined in IL-4 -/- mice. IL-5 and IL-10 production by lymphoid cells stimulated with soluble egg antigen (SEA), peripheral eosinophilia and serum levels of soluble IL-4 receptor but not IgE were all significantly elevated over background normal levels in IL-4 -/- mice as a result of infection. Additionally, IL-10 and IL-5 in addition to IL-2 and IFN-gamma transcripts were equally evident in diseased liver tissue from infected IL-4 -/- and wild-type mice. Nevertheless, analysis of antigen-stimulated IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-10 and IFN-gamma production by lymphoid organ cells from infected or egg-injected IL-4 -/- mice revealed a more Th1-like pattern of cytokine production (IFN-gamma > IL-5) than in (wild-type) mice in which a stronger type 2 response to SEA was detectable (IL-4, IL-5 > IFN-gamma). Despite this, at 8 and 16 weeks after infection, liver pathology, as indicated by the size, cellularity, cellular composition and collagen content of granulomas, was similar in IL-4 -/- and wild-type animals. As in wild-type animals, granuloma size at week 16 was smaller than at week 8, indicating that modulation had occurred in the absence of IL-4. Differences in pathology were seen only when eggs were experimentally embolized to the lungs, in which case IL-4 -/- mice made smaller granulomatous responses than did wild-type animals. These data clearly show that IL-4 is not necessary for the hepatic granuloma formation which occurs during experimental schistosomiasis.

Title Type 1 Cd8+ T Cell Responses During Infection with the Helminth Schistosoma Mansoni.
Date November 1996
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

IL-4 promotes the development of type 2 CD8+ T cells. In mice infected with the helminth Schistosoma mansoni, the Th response is overtly Th2-like, creating an environment rich in IL-4. Consequently, we examined whether CD8+ subset development in schistosome-infected mice is biased in a type 2 direction; this is of interest because CD8+ cells have been proposed to play an immunoregulatory role during schistosomiasis. Contrary to expectation, our data indicate that the CD8+ cell response in infected mice is strongly type 1-like. Thus, infection with S. mansoni leads to the development of concurrent Th2 and type 1 CD8+ cell responses. Cytokine production by type 1 CD8+ cells is dependent upon help from CD4+ cells; this helper activity can be substituted by exogenous IL-2 or IL-4. Since Th cells from infected mice make little IL-2 but large amounts of IL-4, we propose that IL-4 is likely to be the physiologic mediator of help in infected animals, a view supported by the ability of mAbs against IL-4R and IL-4 to reduce IFN-gamma production by splenocytes in vitro. CD8+ cells from infected mice are able to produce IFN-gamma in response to schistosome Ag presented by bone marrow-derived APC. A regulatory role for the CD8+ cells is implied by the observation that CD8+ cell-depleted splenocytes from infected mice exhibit increased proliferative responses and IL-4 production in response to mAb anti-CD3. These findings suggest that in mice infected with schistosomes there exists a regulatory pathway in which type 1 CD8+ cells, under the control of IL-4, dampen immunopathologic type 2 responses.

Title Detecting a History of Childhood Sexual Experiences Among Women Substance Abusers.
Date October 1996
Journal Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Excerpt

This article examines a means of detecting a history of childhood sexual experience (CSE) to improve substance abuse treatment outcomes. The symptom profile of women with a history of CSE is discussed in relation to the difficulties it presents in detection of a history of CSE, especially in women who also have a past or current history of substance abuse. A symptom checklist is described, and its validity and reliability are reported as satisfactory. The use of the checklist in client assessment and treatment planning is discussed.

Title Impairment of Tetanus Toxoid-specific Th1-like Immune Responses in Humans Infected with Schistosoma Mansoni.
Date February 1996
Journal The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Excerpt

After vaccination with tetanus toxoid (TT), TT-specific immune responses in humans infected with Schistosoma mansoni were assessed. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from vaccinated infected subjects and vaccinated uninfected controls were evaluated for their ability to produce cytokines characteristic of Th1 or Th2 cells (interferon [IFN]-gamma or interleukin [IL]-4, respectively) after in vitro restimulation with TT. TT-specific IFN-gamma production by PBMC from infected subjects was inversely related to infection intensity and was significantly lower than TT-specific IFN-gamma production by control PBMC. PBMC from all of the infected subjects and 3 of the 5 controls analyzed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction transcribed the IL-4 gene in response to TT restimulation. Together, these results suggest that S. mansoni-infected persons mount a Th2-like response to the bystander antigen TT, while uninfected persons mount a Th1- or Th0-like response.

Title Induction of Th2 Responses in Infectious Diseases.
Date January 1996
Journal Current Opinion in Immunology
Excerpt

Recent work on T-helper (Th) cell subset maturation has focused on defining the cellular source of early IL-4, which promotes precursor (naive) CD4+ Th cells to differentiate into Th type 2 (Th2) cells, and also on the roles of counter-regulatory cytokines, costimulatory signals, and antigen in the induction of Th2 responses. Results suggest that not all Th2 cells are equivalent in their ontogeny.

Title Early Il-4 Production by Non-cd4+ Cells at the Site of Antigen Deposition Predicts the Development of a T Helper 2 Cell Response to Schistosoma Mansoni Eggs.
Date December 1995
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

Cytokines play a major role in promoting naive Th cells to differentiate into Th1 or Th2 cells. While IL-4 is recognized as the primary pro-Th2 inducing cytokine, the identity of its cellular sources during the development of a Th2 response remains unclear. We have used Schistosoma mansoni eggs, potent stimulators of Th2 responses both during the natural progression of murine schistosomiasis and when experimentally isolated and injected into normal mice, to examine IL-4 production early in the evolution of an Ag-driven Th2 response. Analysis of peritoneal exudate cells by IL-4 specific reverse transcriptase-PCR and ELISPOT, at times following i.p. egg injection in naive C57BL/6 mice, revealed a marked, transient elevation in IL-4 production at 2 to 12 h after Ag exposure. This response was temporally accompanied by eosinophil and neutrophil infiltration and mast cell disappearance. The pattern of early IL-4 production and peritoneal cell infiltration was observed in egg-injected CD4+ cell-depleted and nude C57BL/6 mice, strongly suggesting that a non-T cell is the source of early IL-4 and that the stimulus leading to the egg-induced changes in cellular composition are T cell independent. In addition to IL-4 transcripts, peritoneal exudate cells from egg-injected T cell replete or deficient mice contained IFN-gamma and IL-12 transcripts. Control i.p. PBS injections led to no or minimal cytokine gene transcription. Early IL-4 was predictive of subsequent Th2 response development since, in contrast to C57BL/6 mice, egg-injected BALB/c mice demonstrated no detectable IL-4 production at 12 h and mounted a comparatively weak egg Ag-specific Th2 response.

Title Interferon-gamma Production by Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells from Residents of an Area Endemic for Schistosoma Mansoni.
Date November 1995
Journal Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Excerpt

During human schistosomiasis host responses to antigens of various parasite life-cycle stages may contribute to whether the severe, hepatosplenic state develops or the patient remains relatively asymptomatic throughout infection, and may play a role in resistance. This study evaluated production of interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) in vitro by schistosome antigen-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from asymptomatic patients, and by PBMCs from apparently uninfected, untreated persons living in areas endemic for Schistosoma mansoni ('endemic normals'). IFN-gamma production parallels PBMC proliferation in that schistosomal egg antigens stimulate patent patients' cells poorly, but strongly stimulate PBMCs from 'endemic normals'. This is proportionally true for antigens from adult worms and cercariae. Although asymptomatic patent patients' cells produced little or no IFN-gamma in response to the 3 schistosomal antigenic extracts, their PBMCs, and PBMCs from 'endemic normals', produced expected amounts of IFN-gamma when exposed to phytohaemagglutinin. This implies that persons with patent infections have schistosome antigen-specific defects in their ability to respond to IFN-gamma production that are not exhibited by putatively resistant 'endemic normals'.

Title Surface-associated Serine-threonine Kinase in Schistosoma Mansoni.
Date September 1995
Journal Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Excerpt

Existing evidence suggests that parasites of the genus Schistosoma are responsive to external stimuli derived from the host and from parasites of the opposite sex. We hypothesize that these interactions are mediated by receptors at the parasite surface. To begin to address this issue, we have employed surface labelling by biotinylation to identify and isolate the surface molecules of adult S. mansoni. Isolated surface molecules were subsequently analyzed for the presence of protein kinases, since protein kinase activity is frequently associated with signal-transducing receptors. Our results demonstrate that serine-threonine kinase activity is associated with the parasite surface and that surface proteins of 145, 125, 95 and 57 kDa became phosphorylated on serine and threonine residues under in vitro conditions. No significant tyrosine phosphorylation of surface molecules was detected, despite the presence of many tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins in tegumental extracts. An additional unexpected finding of these studies was that adult schistosomes express considerably more surface molecules than previously indicated by radioiodination studies, and that the majority of these molecules are of parasite rather than host origin.

Title Increased Cd4+ T Cell-dependent Anti-erythrocyte Antibody Levels Following the Onset of Parasite Egg Production in Schistosoma Mansoni Infected Mice.
Date February 1995
Journal Parasite Immunology
Excerpt

Anaemia has been reported to be a symptom of schistosomiasis mansoni. In other chronic infectious diseases, anti-red blood cell (RBC) antibodies have been suggested or shown to play a role in anaemia by participating in either complement or macrophage-dependent RBC elimination. To examine whether such a situation could be contributing to the anaemia of schistosomiasis, we examined RBC taken from infected mice for surface-bound antibodies. Our data show that prior to the onset of egg production infected mice have plasma haemoglobin levels that are indistinguishable from age matched controls (AMC). However, consistent with previous reports, following the initiation of egg laying, infected mice have significantly lower haemoglobin levels than AMC. Surface-bound IgM, IgG1 and IgG3 on RBC from infected mice increased markedly after egg laying began. Levels of RBC-associated IgG2b were similar on RBC from infected and normal mice. Antibody production against RBC was Th cell-dependent since it did not occur in mice depleted of CD4+ cells. Antibodies eluted from RBC of infected mice bound to isolated membranes of RBC from AMC and to a soluble extract of schistosome eggs. Furthermore, antibodies in serum from mice carrying patent infections bound to the membranes of RBC from normal mice. Taken together, these data suggest that schistosome eggs induce an antibody response which may cross react with a RBC surface antigen.

Title Il-12 Inhibits Th2 Cytokine Responses Induced by Eggs of Schistosoma Mansoni.
Date August 1994
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

In the mouse, infection with the helminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni results in the selective induction of CD4+ T lymphocytes belonging to the Th2 subset. Schistosome ova are responsible for the development of Th2 responses seen in patently infected animals and the injection of eggs s.c. into the footpad leads to the development of elevated Th2 cytokine production by T cells in the draining popliteal lymph node. Using the egg injection model, we have shown that IL-12 suppresses schistosome egg-induced Th2 responses as evidenced by decreased IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10 secretion in vitro while increasing the production of the Th1 cytokine IFN-gamma. Similar responses were obtained using either total lymph node cells or purified CD4+ T cells, indicating that IL-12 acts at the T cell level. When given as a single injection IL-12 was most effective at inhibiting Th2 responses when administered 2 days after egg inoculation, a time when T cells are still in a Th0 phase. The suppression of Th2 responses induced by IL-12 was blocked when the animals were simultaneously injected with neutralizing anti-IFN-gamma mAb, either systemically or systemically plus locally. Anti-IFN-gamma also inhibited the enhancement of IFN-gamma responses induced by IL-12 but only if the mAb was administered systemically plus locally. NK cells are likely to be a major source of the immunoregulatory IFN-gamma, because the effects of IL-12 on Th2 cytokine production were suppressed in mice treated with anti-asialo-GM1 Abs. Together these results suggest that IL-12 may have potential use in preventing or treating parasite-induced pathology resulting from Th2 cytokine production.

Title Schistosoma Mansoni Egg-primed Th0 and Th2 Cells: Failure to Down-regulate Ifn-gamma Production Following in Vitro Culture.
Date February 1994
Journal Scandinavian Journal of Immunology
Excerpt

Schistosoma mansoni eggs induce a rapid and pronounced Th response which, based on cytokine secretion patterns, at day 3 post priming is Th0-like and at day 10 is Th2-like. To establish whether or not the day-3 cells have been programmed in vivo to develop into Th2 cells, they were cultured for 7 days to become in vitro equivalents of day-10 in vivo cells. Following this culture period, the population was approximately 75% CD4+, 22% CD8%, 6% B220+ and capable of producing IL-2, IFN-gamma, IL-4, -5 and -10 upon stimulation. This Th0-like status was confirmed by the observations that in response to mitogen IL-4 and IFN-gamma production are both CD(4+)-cell dependent and that IFN-gamma and IL-4 are produced concomitantly by single cells. These data suggest that Th0 cells persist in vivo, but are incapable of secreting IFN-gamma at day 10 due to an inhibitory factor which does not develop or is labile in vitro. This concept is supported by the surprising observation that day-10 LN cells, which are Th2-like immediately ex-vivo, rapidly gain the ability to secrete IFN-gamma following a short period of culture.

Title Cd4+ T-cell Receptor V Beta Usage During the Immune Response to Schistosoma Mansoni.
Date December 1993
Journal Infection and Immunity
Excerpt

T-cell receptor V beta usage by CD4+ cells during the immune response of C57BL/6J mice to Schistosoma mansoni was examined. During acute infection, the distribution of splenic CD4+ cells utilizing V beta s 3, 5, 6, 7, 8.1/8.2, 9, and 11 was not significantly different from that in uninfected mice. Preferential V beta usage or deletion was not detected when either the primary or the memory immune response to parasite eggs was examined.

Title Schistosomiasis. Proselytizing with Immunity.
Date May 1993
Journal Nature
Title Role of T-cell Derived Cytokines in the Downregulation of Immune Responses in Parasitic and Retroviral Infection.
Date September 1992
Journal Immunological Reviews
Excerpt

Parasitic infection is frequently accompanied by a downregulation in host cell-mediated immunity. Recent studies suggest that this modulation of helper T cells and effector cell function can at least in part be attributed to the action of a set of inhibitory cytokines produced by T lymphocytes as well as by a number of other cell types. The best characterized of these inhibitory lymphokines are IL-4, IL-10 and TGF-beta. Interestingly, both IL-4 and IL-10 are produced by the Th2 but not the Th1 subset of CD4+ helper cells. The former subset dominates in many situations of chronic or exacerbated parasitic infection and is thought to suppress Th1 function as a consequence of the cross-regulatory activity of these two cytokines. The latter hypothesis is supported by recent experiments demonstrating that mAb-mediated neutralization of IL-10 reverses suppressed IFN-gamma responses and/or disease susceptibility in mice with parasitic infections. In vivo neutralization of TGF-beta has also been reported to increase host resistance to parasite challenge. In addition to suppressing T-cell differentiation, function or proliferation, IL-4, IL-10 and TGF-beta each inhibit the ability of IFN-gamma to activate macrophages for killing of both intracellular and extracellular parasites. Moreover, the three cytokines are able to synergize with each other in downregulating these parasiticidal effects. Interestingly, each of the cytokines inhibits the production of reactive nitrogen oxides, an effector mechanism previously demonstrated to play a major role in parasite killing by activated macrophages. In the case of IL-10, this suppression of nitrogen oxide production appears to result from an inhibition of TNF-alpha synthesis leading to defective macrophage stimulation. While distant from parasites in their biology and phylogeny, some retroviruses also appear to induce an over-production in downregulatory cytokines which is closely associated with the onset of immunodeficiency. Thus, in an animal model involving infection of mice with LP-BM5 MuLV and in human HIV infection, Th2 (IL-10 and/or IL-4) cytokine synthesis is increased while Th1 (IFN-gamma and/or IL-2) cytokine production is suppressed. These observations suggest that cytokine-mediated cross-regulation may play a role in the pathogenesis of acquired immune deficiency disease, contributing both to the progression of retroviral infection and the increase in susceptibility to opportunistic infections and malignancy. Observations of similar cytokine cross-regulatory activities in organisms as diverse as helminths, protozoa and retroviruses predict that comparable mechanisms may operate in a wide variety of infectious diseases.

Title Schistosoma Mansoni Eggs Induce Antigen-responsive Cd44-hi T Helper 2 Cells and Il-4-secreting Cd44-lo Cells. Potential for T Helper 2 Subset Differentiation is Evident at the Precursor Level.
Date September 1992
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

Schistosoma mansoni eggs are potent inducers of biased Th2-like immune responses. Using a model system where mice are immunized with isolated schistosome eggs, we demonstrate that CD44 expression, up-regulation of which has been linked to Th cell development, is increased on Th2 cells. We also investigate the functional properties of CD44-lo Th cells recovered from the overtly Th2 environment constituted by lymph nodes draining sites of egg deposition. Production of high levels of IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10 by Th cells responding to egg Ag is shown to be the property of a subpopulation expressing CD44-hi. This population of Th cells cosegregates with a blasting subpopulation expressing more IL-4R (but similar amounts of IL-2R) than Th cells from normal mice. These results indicate that mature Th2 cells responding to schistosome eggs are CD44-hi and suggest that they use IL-4 as a growth factor. In contrast, CD44-lo cells sorted from lymph node populations responding to eggs are able to produce small amounts of IL-4 and IL-2, but no IL-5 or IL-10. This is surprising, because low expression of CD44 is considered a characteristic of Th cell naivite and concomitant ability to produce only IL-2. Thus, in lymph nodes responding to schistosome eggs, potential for Th2 subset differentiation is evident within the CD44-lo precursor Th subpopulation.

Title Infection with Schistosoma Mansoni Alters Th1/th2 Cytokine Responses to a Non-parasite Antigen.
Date June 1992
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

Schistosoma mansoni infection in the mouse has been shown to be accompanied by a down-regulation in parasite-Ag- and mitogen-induced Th1 cytokine secretion (IL-2 and IFN-gamma) with a simultaneous increase in the production of Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10), suggesting a generalized imbalance in lymphocyte function. In the present study, we examined whether infection with S. mansoni would also influence the character of immune responses to a non-parasite Ag, sperm whale myoglobin (SwMb). When spleen cells (SC) from schistosome-infected SwMb-immunized animals were stimulated with SwMb, their production of IL-2 and IFN-gamma per CD4+ cell was found to be significantly reduced (by 45% and 59%, respectively) compared with the responses observed in immunized uninfected animals. Moreover, SwMb-induced secretion of IL-4 per CD4+ cell was increased threefold in SC cultures from infected mice. No myoglobin-induced IL-5 was detected in the same cultures. Addition to SC cultures of a neutralizing mAb specific for IL-10 partly restored the suppressed IFN-gamma response to SwMb seen in infected mice, suggesting a role for IL-10 in the observed down-regulation. S. mansoni-infected mice also showed an impaired antibody response to SwMb, with levels ranging from 10% to 27% of those observed in uninfected mice, although no differences in IgG isotype were evident. Taken together, these results suggest that infection with S. mansoni induces a down-regulation of Th1 responses and elevation of Th2 responses to unrelated foreign immunogens as well as to parasite Ag themselves. One implication of these findings is that helminth-infected individuals may have altered cell-mediated immune function to other microbial agents.

Title Cd4+ Th2 Response Induced by Schistosoma Mansoni Eggs Develops Rapidly, Through an Early, Transient, Th0-like Stage.
Date April 1992
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

Data from recent studies of murine schistosomiasis mansoni have indicated that certain characteristics of this infection, such as eosinophilia and elevated IgE, are due largely to the induction of Th2-like immune responses by parasite ova. The present study was designed to examine more closely the genesis and development of these skewed Th responses to schistosome eggs. Accordingly, eggs isolated from infected mice were injected s.c. into normal mice. After inoculation, draining lymph node (LN) cells were recovered, phenotyped, and tested for their ability to proliferate and secrete IL-2 and IFN-gamma (as markers of Th1 function) and IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10 (Th2 cytokines). The results show a maximal LN enlargement of 40- to 100-fold by day 3 after egg inoculation. The CD4/CD8/B cell ratio at this time is similar to that in LN from normal mice, but increases in numbers of cells expressing very low levels of MEL-14 and high levels of Pgp-1 are evident by days 3 and 10, respectively. Surprisingly, the initial detectable Ag-specific response to schistosome eggs, observed at day 1, is the production of IFN-gamma. By day 3, LN cells are capable of proliferating and making IFN-gamma plus IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10 when stimulated with soluble egg Ag and, therefore, appear Th0-like. After 7 to 10 days, IFN-gamma production is severely depressed but the response continues to be characterized by IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, and IL-2. Depletion studies indicate that CD4 cells are the major population responsible for Ag-mediated proliferation and cytokine production. Results show that schistosome eggs are autonomous inducers of vigorous Th2-like effector responses. Further, our data, from a system that utilizes an in vivo priming step, support the contentions that skewed Th responses develop via an intermediate Th0 stage is accompanied by a loss of the MEL-14 surface marker and an increase in Pgp-1 expression.

Title Sm25, a Major Schistosome Tegumental Glycoprotein, is Dependent on Palmitic Acid for Membrane Attachment.
Date October 1991
Journal The Embo Journal
Excerpt

Sm25, a major antigen in the surface tegument of the parasitic helminth Schistosoma mansoni, is a 25 kDa N-glycosylated glycoprotein which co-purifies with isolated surface membranes and behaves as an integral membrane protein in Triton X-114 (TX-114). The deduced amino acid sequence of Sm25 shows a short C-terminal hydrophobic domain between residues 163 and 180, containing six uncharged polar amino acids and followed by a Lys181-Ser192 dipeptide. We were interested in whether or not this marginal C-terminal amphiphilic domain is responsible for the association of Sm25 with the membrane or whether a post-translational modification such as the addition of glycosyl phosphatidyl inositol (GPI) represents the membrane anchor for this molecule. We find that treatment with phosphatidyl inositol-specific phospholipase C, which cleaves many GPI anchors, does not reveal Cross Reacting Determinant (CRD) on Sm25, nor affect the association of this protein with membranes, providing no support for the addition of GPI. However, Sm25 is palmitoylated via a thioester bond to the single Cys residue, at position 168, which lies within the C-terminal hydrophobic domain. Removal of palmitate by reduction results in a marked decrease in the hydrophobicity of Sm25, as demonstrated by its partitioning into the aqueous rather than detergent phase of TX-114 and its quantitative release from membrane preparations. The hydrophobicity of several membrane proteins in addition to Sm25 is also decreased by reduction, raising the possibility that fatty acylation by thioester linkage is an important mechanism used by schistosomes to stabilize protein-membrane interactions.

Title Regulation and Biological Function of Helminth-induced Cytokine Responses.
Date August 1991
Journal Immunology Today
Excerpt

The immunological hallmarks of infection with parasitic helminths, namely eosinophilia, mastocytosis and increased IgE synthesis, all appear to be induced by cytokines from the TH2 subset of CD4+ T cells: IgE production is stimulated by interleukin 4 (IL-4), eosinophilia by IL-5 and mastocytosis by IL-3 and IL-4. Here, Fred Finkelman and colleagues argue that the functional significance of the eosinophilia-mastocytosis-IgE axis in helminth infection is unclear and suggest that in some worm infections TH2-cell cytokines may contribute to host protection, while in others they may promote parasite survival.

Title Functional Dichotomy in the Cd4+ T Cell Response to Schistosoma Mansoni.
Date July 1991
Journal Experimental Parasitology
Title Downregulation of Th1 Cytokine Production Accompanies Induction of Th2 Responses by a Parasitic Helminth, Schistosoma Mansoni.
Date January 1991
Journal The Journal of Experimental Medicine
Excerpt

In the mouse, infection with Schistosoma mansoni results in an egg-producing infection and associated disease, whereas vaccination with attenuated larval stages produces a substantial and specific immunity in the absence of egg-induced pathology. Preliminary data showing enhanced interleukin-5 (IL-5) production by T cells from infected mice and interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) synthesis by cells from vaccinated animals (7), suggested differential CD4+ subset stimulation by the different parasite stimuli. To confirm this hypothesis, lymphocytes from vaccinated or infected animals were compared for their ability to produce IFN-gamma and IL-2 (secreted by Th1 cells) as compared with IL-4 and IL-5 (characteristic Th2 cytokines). After stimulation with specific antigen or mitogen, T cells from vaccinated mice or prepatently infected animals responded primarily with Th1 lymphokines, whereas lymphocytes from patently infected mice instead produced Th2 cytokines. The Th2 response in infected animals was shown to be induced by schistosome eggs and directed largely against egg antigens, whereas the Th1 reactivity in vaccinated mice was triggered primarily by larval antigens. Interestingly, Th1 responses in mice carrying egg-producing infections were found to be profoundly downregulated. Moreover, the injection of eggs into vaccinated mice resulted in a reduction of antigen and mitogen-stimulated Th1 function accompanied by a coincident expression of Th2 responses. Together, the data suggest that coincident with the induction of Th2 responses, murine schistosome infection results in an inhibition of potentially protective Th1 function. This previously unrecognized downregulation of Th1 cytokine production may be an important immunological consequence of helminth infection related to host adaptation.

Title Immunity to Helminths.
Date June 1990
Journal Current Opinion in Immunology
Title Host-specific Evasion of the Alternative Complement Pathway by Schistosomes Correlates with the Presence of a Phospholipase C-sensitive Surface Molecule Resembling Human Decay Accelerating Factor.
Date April 1990
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

Schistosoma mansoni parasites recovered from the blood stream were found to be nonactivators of the alternative complement pathway (ACP) when exposed to sera of homologous but not heterologous host species. Schistosomes could be converted into activators of the homologous ACP by treatment with phospholipase C. Antibodies to either human or guinea pig decay accelerating factor (DAF), a 70-kDa glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchored membrane glycoprotein which controls ACP activation on the mammalian cell plasma membrane, bound to the surface of immature schistosomes and immunoprecipitated a molecule of similar molecular mass from detergent extracts of surface iodinated parasites. Phospholipase C treatment drastically reduced the reactivity of the worms with the anti-DAF antibodies. These data suggest that schistosomes evade the ACP by inserting functional host DAF into their surfaces, possibly through adsorption of the molecule's lipophilic diacyglycerol membrane anchor moiety into the outer lipid bilayer of the parasite.

Title The Human Immune Response to Defined Immunogens of Schistosoma Mansoni: Elevated Antibody Levels to Paramyosin in Stool-negative Individuals from Two Endemic Areas in Brazil.
Date February 1990
Journal Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Excerpt

Sera from individuals living in 2 areas endemic for Schistosoma mansoni in Minas Gerais, Brazil were assayed for the presence of antibodies against paramyosin and glutathione-S-transferase (GST), molecules previously implicated as vaccine immunogens from studies in laboratory hosts. A group was identified consisting of subjects who were stool-negative and had no record of previous infection but who were seropositive by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay against crude adult worm antigen (SWAP). These individuals had anti-paramyosin antibody levels which were dramatically elevated with respect to those measured in infected (stool-positive) individuals living in the same endemic area. In contrast, the same 2 groups of stool-positive and stool-negative subjects could not be distinguished on the basis of their seroreactivity to either GST or SWAP. After chemotherapy, anti-paramyosin antibodies rose above pre-treatment levels and remained elevated in those individuals who became stool-negative. In contrast, anti-paramyosin antibodies decreased to pretreatment values in drug-treated individuals who failed to show complete parasitological cure. These results suggest that the immune response of humans to paramyosin may play a role in natural resistance to schistosome infection, and that an elevated antibody level against this antigen may be a useful correlate of drug-induced cure.

Title Prospects for a Nonliving Vaccine Against Schistosomiasis Based on Cell-mediated Immune Resistance Mechanisms.
Date August 1989
Journal Memórias Do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Excerpt

We have designed a vaccine model based on induction of cell-mediated immunity and shown that it protects mice against Schistosoma mansoni infection. Mice are immunized by intradermal injection with schistosome antigens plus BCG. Resistance is dependent on the route of antigen presentation and the adjuvant chosen. The pattern of resistance correlates with sensitization of T lymphocytes for production of gamma interferon, a macrophage activating lymphokine that stimulates the cellular effector mechanism of protection. Purified schistosome paramyosin, a muscle cell component present in soluble parasite antigenic preparations, is immunogenic for T lymphocytes and induces resistance when given intradermally with BCG. It is likely that this protein, and possibly other soluble molecules that are released by the parasites of a challenge infection, induce a cellular inflammatory response resulting in larval trapping and/or killing by activated macrophages. These results verify the feasibility of a vaccine against schistosomiasis based on induction of cell-mediated immune resistance mechanisms.

Title Three Major Surface Antigens of Schistosoma Mansoni Are Linked to the Membrane by Glycosylphosphatidylinositol.
Date February 1989
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

Schistosomula of Schistosoma mansoni were examined for the presence of glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchored surface membrane Ag. Parasites were surface iodinated and cultured in the presence or absence of a crude phospholipase C (PLC) preparation or phosphatidylinositol-specific PLC (PIPLC). Culture supernatants were then analyzed: 1) by centrifugation to ascertain which molecules released from the surface were soluble or contained in membrane vesicles; 2) by immunoprecipitation with antibodies specific for the "cross-reacting determinant," an epitope revealed on some GPI-anchored proteins only after cleavage of the diacylglycerol from the protein by PIPLC, and 3) by immunoprecipitation with immune mouse sera to establish co-identity with previously described, immunologically relevant surface Ag. By using these techniques, schistosomula were shown to possess three GPI-anchored surface Ag of m.w. 38,000, 32,000 and 18,000 which are spontaneously released from the surface of schistosomula in association with membrane, but remain insoluble until cleaved by PIPLC. All three molecules were recognized by antibodies from mice vaccinated with irradiated cercariae and/or chronically infected mice. Moreover, the m.w. 38,000 component was recognized by a previously described protective mAb (E.1). A major developmental modification appears to occur in the expression of these molecules because, by the same techniques, no GPI-anchored surface Ag were detectable on 7-day-old lung stage parasites. The finding that these important parasite immunogens are GPI-anchored and released from the surface of the parasite in membrane vesicles may, in part, explain why they elicit strong immune responses capable of damaging the schistosomulum tegument.

Title Schistosomiasis Vaccine.
Date September 1988
Journal Nature
Title Induction of Protective Immunity Against Schistosoma Mansoni by Vaccination with Schistosome Paramyosin (sm97), a Nonsurface Parasite Antigen.
Date September 1988
Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Excerpt

Paramyosin (Sm97), a 97-kDa myofibrillar protein identified by the unusually monospecific antibody response induced by intradermal vaccination of mice with a complex soluble worm antigen preparation (SWAP) of adult Schistosoma mansoni administered with bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), was purified and tested for its capacity to protect mice against challenge infection. When administered intradermally with BCG at total doses of only 4-40 micrograms per mouse, both the native molecule and a recombinant expression product containing approximately 50% of the whole protein were found to confer significant resistance (26-33%) against challenge infection, while 2 mg of unfractionated SWAP was required to induce similar levels of protection. In addition, paramyosin was shown to stimulate T lymphocytes from vaccinated mice to produce lymphokines [e.g., gamma interferon (IFN-gamma)] that activate macrophages to kill schistosomula. Neither schistosome myosin nor a heterologous paramyosin from a different invertebrate genus were protective, indicating a requirement for specific epitopes in the immunization. That the protection induced by paramyosin involves a T-cell-mediated mechanism was supported by the failure of anti-paramyosin antibodies to passively transfer significant resistance to infection to recipient mice. Lymphocytes from mice vaccinated with paramyosin were found to produce IFN-gamma in response to living schistosomula, suggesting that during challenge infection of vaccinated hosts, paramyosin (a nonsurface antigen) may elicit a protective T-cell response as a consequence of its release from migrating parasite larvae. Paramyosin-depleted SWAP was also found to be protective as well as stimulatory for T lymphocytes from SWAP-vaccinated mice, indicating that other antigens in this preparation may have immunoprophylactic potential. In summary, these results (i) suggest that the induction of T-cell-dependent cell-mediated immunity against soluble nonsurface antigens may be an effective strategy for immunization against multicellular parasites and (ii) in the case of schistosomes, identify paramyosin as a candidate vaccine immunogen in this category.

Title Antigens from the Surface and Excretions/secretions of the Filariform Larva of Strongyloides Stercoralis.
Date August 1988
Journal Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Excerpt

The surface and excretory/secretory (ES) antigens of the infective, filariform larva (L3) of Strongyloides stercoralis were identified. These studies provide a basis for the purification of these proteins as diagnostic allergens for human strongyloidiasis. The Mr values of the surface and ES molecules were determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and autoradiography, fluorography, or silver staining following the recovery of these molecules after the radiolabelling of living parasites. At least 10 surface proteins were radioiodinated extrinsically using chloroglycoluril as the catalyst for iodination, and then extracted with detergents and/or beta-mercaptoethanol. Several surface molecules of the L3 were immunogenic in humans, as determined by immunoprecipitation with sera (IHS) from infected patients. About 30 proteins were present in the ES preparation. Many ES antigens were labelled biosynthetically during the culture of larvae in media supplemented with either [35S]methionine or [14C]glucose. Furthermore, several of the surface proteins of the L3 were found with the ES antigens recoverable by culturing larvae in vitro. About 10 of the ES proteins were immunogenic as determined by immunoaffinity chromatography using IHS; and two of these antigens with Mr 50,000 and 90,000 incorporated [35S]methionine during culture of larvae. Moreover, some ES proteins were allergenic when tested in an in vitro assay of histamine release from basophils from infected humans or monkeys. The isotype of the homocytophilic antibodies involved in this immediate hypersensitivity assay, which is the basis of a diagnostic skin test for human strongyloidiasis, appears to be IgE.

Title The Influence of Adjuvant on Induction of Protective Immunity by a Non-living Vaccine Against Schistosomiasis.
Date May 1988
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

Mice were protected against subsequent infection with Schistosoma mansoni by intradermal or s.c. vaccination with killed schistosomula or soluble parasite extracts and bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). Treatment with i.p. immunization was somewhat less effective, whereas i.m. vaccination failed to elicit protective immunity. The level of resistance induced by intradermal immunization was influenced by the strain of BCG used, and isolated BCG cell walls did not reliably substitute for whole BCG organisms as adjuvant. Bordetella pertussis vaccine and saponin were also able to function as adjuvants for protective immunity in this model, whereas other immunopotentiators including Corynebacterium parvum and aluminum hydroxide were ineffective. No correlation between resistance to challenge infection and antibody levels was detected. Animals immunized intradermally using either protective or non-protective adjuvants all showed minimal humoral reactivity against schistosomulum surface Ag but strong IgG response to soluble parasite components including paramyosin, which is the major serologically recognized Ag in mice vaccinated intradermally with schistosome Ag plus BCG and is protective in this model. In contrast, a strong correlation was observed between resistance and Ag-specific cell-mediated reactivity, including IFN production by T lymphocytes in vitro and macrophage activation in vivo. These results further substantiate the hypothesis that protection in this model is based on cell-mediated immune effector mechanisms. Moreover, they may be of general relevance in the design of vaccination protocols using other Ag or against other infectious agents.

Title Induction of Protective Immunity Against Schistosoma Mansoni by a Non-living Vaccine. Vi. Antigen Recognition by Non-responder Mouse Strains.
Date May 1988
Journal Parasite Immunology
Excerpt

Previous studies have shown that many strains of mice develop partial resistance to Schistosoma mansoni as a result of intradermal vaccination with soluble schistosome antigens plus BCG. However, P and BALB/c mice are non-responsive to this intradermal vaccination protocol. In this study, humoral and cellular responses to schistosome antigens in vaccinated P and BALB/c mice were compared to those in protected C57BL/6 mice to identify an immune correlate to resistance in this model. Levels of circulating IgG and IgM antibodies to soluble adult worm antigens, as measured by ELISA, were comparable between strains. Moreover, Western blot analysis revealed no qualitative differences in antibody reactivity, with sera from vaccinated animals of all three strains recognizing the antigen previously identified as Sm-97 (paramyosin). However, vaccinated P and BALB/c mice showed specific defects in cell-mediated immunity to schistosome antigens, including decreased production of macrophage-activating lymphokines and an inability to produce activated macrophage effector cells in vivo at the site of antigen challenge. These observations strengthen our hypothesis that the intradermal vaccine acts through induction of T-cell-mediated immune resistance mechanisms.

Title Mechanisms of Immune Evasion in Schistosomiasis.
Date October 1987
Journal Contributions to Microbiology and Immunology
Excerpt

An unusual property of schistosomes is their capacity to survive intravascularly for many years in the face of an ongoing antiparasite immune response by the infected host. This ability to evade the immune system appears to be due to several unusual parasite adaptations occurring soon after infection is initiated. Foremost amongst these are processes which result in reduced surface antigenicity and the development of a tegument intrinsically resistant to immune damage. The unusual ability of the schistosome surface membrane to escape immune recognition and damage suggests that attempts to vaccinate against this important parasite either should be directed against very early schistosomula which have yet to achieve the refractory state, or involve stimulation of effector mechanisms, such as killing by activated macrophages, which do not require recognition or interaction with parasite surface antigens.

Title Induction of Cell-mediated Immunity As a Strategy for Vaccination Against Schistosoma Mansoni.
Date October 1987
Journal Acta Tropica. Supplementum
Title Strategies for Induction of Protective Immunity Against Schistosomes.
Date October 1987
Journal Acta Tropica. Supplementum
Title Kinetic Correlation of the Acquisition of Resistance to Immune Attack in Schistosomula of Schistosoma Mansoni with a Developmental Change in Membrane Potential.
Date March 1987
Journal Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Excerpt

When Schistosoma mansoni cercariae penetrate the skin of the mammalian host they rapidly pass from fresh water to a high salt physiologic environment and transform into schistosomula. Following this transition, the parasites migrate from the skin to the lungs during which time they change from being highly susceptible to immune attack to being refractory, as measured by in vitro cytotoxicity assays. In this study, in vivo or in vitro schistosomula of different ages were examined for developmentally linked changes in membrane function which might correlate with the attainment of the resistant state. In particular, alterations in the distribution of tetraphenylphosphonium (TPP+), a synthetic lipophilic cation which shows a potential dependent partition across membranes, were followed. Three-hour-old schistosomula, which are greater than 75% susceptible to antibody-dependent complement-mediated attack or lymphokine-activated macrophage-mediated cytotoxicity, acquired TPP+ at a similar rate and steady state level to 5-day-old lung worms, which were completely resistant to both these effector mechanisms. The addition of ouabain, a Na+/K+-ATPase inhibitor, caused a 50% decrease in both the rate and steady state of TPP+ uptake by 3 h parasites but had little effect on these parameters in lung worms. Valinomycin, a K+-ionophore, completely inhibited TPP+ influx in both stages. The characteristics of TPP+ efflux from 3-h and 5-day-old parasites preloaded with the cation were found to be dissimilar. Whereas 30% of acquired TPP+ was lost from lung worms within 2 h, only 10% of acquired cation was released from 3-h schistosomula during the same period.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Title Schistosoma Mansoni: the Cutaneous Response to Cercarial Challenge in Naive Guinea Pigs and Guinea Pigs Vaccinated with Highly Irradiated Cercariae.
Date January 1987
Journal International Journal for Parasitology
Title Immunochemical Characterization and Purification of Sm-97, a Schistosoma Mansoni Antigen Monospecifically Recognized by Antibodies from Mice Protectively Immunized with a Nonliving Vaccine.
Date December 1986
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

Mice protected against Schistosoma mansoni infection by intradermal (i.d.) vaccination with nonliving schistosomula or soluble extracts of larval or adult schistosomes (SCHLAP and SWAP, respectively) produce antibodies that react by Western blot analysis with one antigen of Mr (X 10(-3)) 97 in SWAP prepared in the presence of protease inhibitors and two antigens of Mr (X 10(-3)) 95 and 78 in SWAP prepared in their absence. Vaccine antibodies also immunoprecipitated a single 97k molecule, with a pI of 5.5, from detergent extracts of [35S] methionine-labeled schistosomes. Three hybridomas, produced from spleen cells of i.d. immunized mice, all recognized both the 95k/78k doublet and the 97k antigen, indicating that the two lower Mr components are degradation products of the same 97k molecule. The 97k/95k/78k complex (Sm-97) was purified by affinity chromatography and found to constitute 0.5% of the total protein in SWAP. 125I-concanavalin A bound weakly to purified Sm-97, indicating that this antigen is minimally glycosylated. By indirect immunofluorescence, Sm-97 was localized to regions just below the tegumental and gut syncitia of adult worms. Mice protected by i.d. vaccination produced high titers (1:10,240) of anti-Sm-97 antibodies, whereas chronically infected mice responded at a much lower level (titer 1:640). In contrast, mice protectively immunized with irradiated cercariae and mice nonprophylactically inoculated by the i.v. route failed to produce detectable anti-Sm-97 antibodies. Competitive radioimmunoassays performed with 125I-labeled monoclonal antibodies and purified antigen defined at least two distinct epitopes on Sm-97. Antibodies from i.d. vaccinated mice recognized both monoclonal antibody-defined epitopes, whereas anti-Sm-97 antibodies in chronic infection sera recognized neither. Finally, purified Sm-97 was shown to elicit delayed-type hypersensitivity in i.d. vaccinated mice, suggesting that this molecule is also capable of evoking cell-mediated responses, a finding consistent with its proposed function as a vaccine immunogen.

Title Post Lung-stage Schistosomula of Schistosoma Mansoni Exhibit Transient Susceptibility to Macrophage-mediated Cytotoxicity in Vitro That May Relate to Late Phase Killing in Vivo.
Date December 1986
Journal Parasite Immunology
Excerpt

Studies of protective immunity against Schistosoma mansoni in immunized mice suggest that a proportion of challenge parasites may be eliminated after they have passed through the lungs of the host several days after infection; however, no potential immune effector mechanism of resistance against this stage of the parasite has yet been identified, since schistosomes have been shown to rapidly become resistant to antibody-dependent killing mechanisms. In this study, different development stages of S. mansoni were examined for their susceptibility to in vitro cytotoxicity by lymphokine-activated macrophages. As previously shown, newly transformed larvae were readily killed by lymphokine-treated peritoneal macrophages or the macrophage cell line IC-21 (80% mortality over 48 h in vitro), whereas 7 and 10 day old lung-stage parasites had become refractory to macrophage effects. However, after 2 to 2 1/2 weeks of development in vivo, juvenile parasites recovered from the liver were again susceptible to activated macrophage-mediated cytotoxicity (25-65% mortality). Ultrastructural studies of 2 1/2 week old parasites co-cultured with activated IC-21 cells revealed that damage was largely restricted to the areas beneath the parasite surface and gut syncitia; surface membrane disruption was not evident. This late stage of susceptibility was transient and by 4 to 6 weeks liver-stage worms had again become refractory to macrophage killing. The interaction of post lung-stage parasites with activated macrophages was antibody independent. Furthermore, schistosomes isolated from the portal circulation 2 1/2 weeks after infection showed no evidence of surface-bound immunoglobulin in a quantitative immunofluorescence assay, nor did antisera from chronically infected mice (CIS) or mice vaccinated with irradiated cercariae (VS) react with the surface of these parasites in vitro, making the possibility of direct antibody-dependent killing mechanisms unlikely. However, both CIS and VS did recognize excretory/secretory proteins synthesized by 2 1/2 week old liver-stage schistosomes, including a major antigen of approximate Mr (X 10(-3] 220 (220K). It is therefore possible that such antigens might participate in protective immunity, for example via immune complex formation or activation of sensitized T cells. These observations support the role of macrophages as immune effector cells in mice immunized against Schistosoma mansoni, and provide the first physiologically relevant mechanism whereby the immune system might recognize and kill post-lung stage schistosomes.

Title Identification of Paramyosin As Schistosome Antigen Recognized by Intradermally Vaccinated Mice.
Date November 1986
Journal Science (new York, N.y.)
Excerpt

Mice immunized intradermally with extracts of Schistosoma mansoni in combination with the adjuvant BCG are significantly protected against subsequent infection with living larval forms of the parasite. Remarkably, these vaccinated animals produce antibodies predominantly against a single parasite protein of molecular weight 97 kilodaltons (Sm-97). A complementary DNA that encodes about half of the Sm-97 molecule has now been cloned and sequenced. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence reveals a protein containing periodic repeats of hydrophobic amino acids characteristic of an alpha-helical coiled-coil structure. The deduced amino acid composition of the cloned gene and several properties of the native protein are similar to that of paramyosin, an alpha-helical protein that forms the core for myosin filaments in invertebrate muscle. Paramyosin was isolated from Schistosoma mansoni adult worms and antibodies to Sm-97 were shown to react with this molecule as well as with a known paramyosin from molluscan muscle.

Title Evidence That the Reduced Surface Antigenicity of Developing Schistosoma Mansoni Schistosomula is Due to Antigen Shedding Rather Than Host Molecule Acquisition.
Date April 1986
Journal Parasite Immunology
Excerpt

Antibody and lectin binding characteristics of Schistosoma mansoni schistosomula maturing in vivo and in vitro were quantitatively assessed and compared in order to investigate the basis of the reduced surface antigenicity of host derived larval schistosomes. Quantitative indirect immunofluorescence assays showed that schistosomula recovered from mice at 24 h and 5-10 days post infection bound low or insignificant amounts of a variety of anti-schistosome antibodies including those from chronically infected and radiation attenuated cercariae-vaccinated mice, a vaccinated rabbit and rabbits hyper-immunized with non-living larval and adult schistosome antigen preparations. In contrast, parasites maturing in vitro continued to bind highly significant levels of each of these antibody preparations until at least 10 days post transformation. To investigate the basis of the decreased surface antigenicity of parasites maturing in vivo, 6-day-cultured parasites were injected intravenously into mice and recovered from the lungs at various times thereafter and examined for their ability to bind both anti-parasite and anti-host antibodies. After 30 min in vivo, cultured schistosomula exhibited a significantly decreased capacity to bind anti-parasite antibodies and concanavalin A (Con A), and by 16 h had lost their binding sites for fucose binding protein (FBP) as well. That this reduction in antigenicity was due to shedding of surface antigens was suggested by the observation that the reduced ability of these parasites to bind anti-parasite antibodies coincided closely with the loss of 125I-labelled surface proteins. Furthermore unlike 6 day schistosomula which had developed wholly in vivo, 6-day-cultured parasites recovered after 30 min in vivo failed to bind anti-host antibodies suggesting that in these organisms parasite antigens were not masked by host molecules. These data argue that surface antigen shedding may explain the reduced surface antigenicity of schistosomula developing in vivo. While this surface modulation apparently occurs independently of host antigen uptake, it is dependent upon an as yet unidentified host factor.

Title Expression in Escherichia Coli of Two Schistosoma Mansoni Genes That Encode Major Antigens Recognized by Immune Mice.
Date December 1985
Journal Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Excerpt

Two clones which contain genes encoding Schistosoma mansoni proteins recognized by immune mouse sera were chosen from cDNA lambda gt11 expression vector library by preselecting clones from the library with rabbit antisera against adult worm phosphate-buffered saline (PBS)-soluble antigens. One clone, MAC 182, codes for part of a Mr 70 000 protein; the other clone, MAC 184, codes for a Mr 27 000 protein. The insert sizes of MAC 182 and MAC 184 are 400 bp and 800 bp, respectively. Both clones express S. mansoni beta-galactosidase fusion proteins as products of the construct. Antibodies from either chronically infected mice or mice vaccinated with irradiated cercariae recognize the MAC 182 fusion protein (MAC 182fp) but not the MAC 184 fusion protein (MAC 184fp). Rabbit antibodies prepared against MAC 182fp immunoprecipitate a Mr 70 000 in vitro translation product from adult mRNA and react in Western blot with a corresponding Mr 70 000 protein present in eggs, cercariae and adult worms but absent in schistosomula. Although the MAC 184fp is not recognized directly by chronic infection or vaccinated mouse antibodies, antisera prepared against the purified fusion protein immunoprecipitate a Mr 27 000 in vitro translation product which also reacts with mouse chronic infection sera. The same Mr 27 000 protein appears to be present in eggs, cercariae, schistosomula and adults as determined by Western blots with rabbit antisera against the MAC 184fp. These results suggest that the S. mansoni polypeptide encoded by the MAC 184 gene, when expressed within a fusion protein, fails to present epitopes normally recognized during natural infection. We propose that these epitopes are conformationally determined and are destroyed when the MAC 184 protein is expressed within beta-galactosidase. This abrogation of conformational epitopes may explain the failure of antibodies from chronically infected or vaccinated mice and rabbits to effectively recognize gene products of certain lambda gt11-fusion protein clones.

Title Site Potential for Challenge Attrition in Mice, Rats and Guinea Pigs Vaccinated with Irradiated Cercariae of Schistosoma Mansoni.
Date May 1985
Journal Parasite Immunology
Excerpt

The potential sites of attrition of a challenge population of schistosomes have been investigated in mice, rats and guinea pigs vaccinated with irradiated cercariae of Schistosoma mansoni, by the use of challenge regimens that permit sequential site elimination. Vaccinated mice showed significant immunity to a percutaneous cercarial challenge, but were only marginally resistant to an i.v. challenge with healthy lung stage worms. Vaccinated rats and guinea pigs differed from mice, in that they were able to mediate significant challenge attrition at post-skin sites. Healthy lung worms were subject to immune elimination by rats in the lungs, or perhaps en route to the liver, but not in the liver itself. In contrast, guinea pigs had the capacity to kill challenge lung worms injected into either the lungs or the liver. Interestingly, lung worms harvested by extended incubation were shown to be sub-optimal in terms of viability, since they were eliminated in significant numbers when injected i.v. into vaccinated mice. These data show that different hosts vaccinated in essentially the same manner differ in terms of their site potential for challenge attrition. It is emphasised however, that sites implicated by these experiments as having the capacity to mediate immune elimination are not necessarily the sites at which challenge attrition occurs under normal circumstances.

Title Induction of Protective Immunity Against Schistosoma Mansoni by a Non Living Vaccine. I. Partial Characterization of Antigens Recognized by Antibodies from Mice Immunized with Soluble Schistosome Extracts.
Date May 1985
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

A single intradermal injection of frozen and thawed schistosomula in conjunction with the bacterial adjuvant Mycobacterium bovis strain Bacille Calmette Guerin, Phipps substrain (BCG) induced significant levels of resistance to challenge Schistosoma mansoni infection in C57BL/6 mice. Immunization with the aqueous fraction remaining after 100,000 X G centrifugation of the larval lysate was also protective under these conditions, suggesting that some immunogenic determinants may not be membrane associated. Frozen-thawed cercariae and soluble components of adult worms also protected against challenge infection in these experiments. These observations indicate that soluble immunogens are present in both early and late developmental stages of the parasite, and therefore may be good candidate antigens for an immunochemically defined vaccine against schistosomiasis. Induction of humoral reactivity against soluble or membrane antigens was examined in mice protected against cercarial challenge by prior exposure to frozen-thawed larvae, soluble larval, or soluble adult antigens plus BCG. Animals that were immunized with frozen-thawed larvae produced low but significant levels of antibodies against larval surface antigens when examined by indirect immunofluorescence or by immunoprecipitation of surface-labeled schistosomula. Mice immunized with soluble antigens, however, showed negligible antibody reactivity against surface membrane antigens. Because mice immunized with soluble antigens were resistant to challenge infection, these results strongly suggest that anti-surface membrane reactivity is not required in the mechanism of protective immunity in this model. Sera from mice immunized with either total freeze-thaw larval lysate or soluble schistosome extracts all showed strong reactivity against soluble antigens, as detected by ELISA. Western blot analysis showed these antisera to react with a restricted number of high m.w. antigens that were present both in schistosomula and in adult worms. These antigens are therefore likely to play a major role in the development of resistance in this model as immunogens and/or as targets of protective immune response.

Title Reappraisal of the Guinea-pig As an Experimental Host for Studies of Schistosomiasis Mansoni.
Date February 1984
Journal Parasitology
Excerpt

The guinea-pig has been reassessed as a potential laboratory host for Schistosoma mansoni. Twenty-six per cent of an infective cercarial population survive to maturity in this rodent and there are no gross fluctuations in worm burden subsequent to pairing of male and female parasites. Five day, 4-week and 6-week-old schistosomes grown in guinea-pigs have topographical features that are identical to those exhibited by similarly aged mouse worms, but different from those exhibited by rat worms. Schistosome eggs are never detected in the faeces of infected guinea-pigs, but they can be observed in the pulmonary, hepatic and intestinal tissues. Only 55% of the eggs that can be recovered from the intestinal tissues are viable, and some of these can be hatched to release miracidia that penetrate the intermediate snail host. Cercariae are sometimes liberated from infected snails, but in insufficient numbers to permit infection of naive guinea-pigs. The schistosome cycle cannot, therefore, be completed in this host. Collaterals are sometimes observed in the vasculature serving the rectum and kidneys of infected guinea-pigs and the fact that schistosome eggs are deposited in the lungs of these animals indicates that portal systemic anastomosis is a feature of the model. Pathology associated with cercarial invasion or egg deposition is not dissimilar to that described for other laboratory animals infected with S. mansoni, except that basophils participate in the inflammatory response observed in the skin and intestine.

Title Schistosoma Mansoni: in Vivo and in Vitro Studies of Immunity Using the Guinea-pig Model.
Date February 1984
Journal Parasitology
Excerpt

In vivo and in vitro parameters of immunity have been assessed in guinea-pigs sensitized with 500 normal or 500 radiation-attenuated cercariae of Schistosoma mansoni. High levels of resistance to a challenge infection developed in both the chronic and irradiated vaccine model, but immunity was expressed earlier (week 4) and reached higher levels (90%) in the latter case. Vaccinated guinea-pigs have thus been shown to achieve greater resistance than the more commonly used rodent hosts. In vitro cytotoxicity assays have demonstrated that antibodies capable of participating in complement-dependent (lethal antibody) or eosinophil-mediated schistosomular killing, develop in the serum of guinea-pigs immunized with either normal or irradiated cercariae. The time course of development of the eosinophil adherence promoting antibody approximated in both models, the development of immunity in vivo, but the lethal antibody response paralleled the immune status of the animal only in the irradiated vaccine model.

Title Semicrystalline Polymers Via Ring-opening Polymerization: Preparation and Polymerization of Alkylene Phthalate Cyclic Oligomers.
Date
Journal
Excerpt

Preparation of cyclic oligomeric alkylene phthalates via pseudo-high dilution condensation of alkylene diols with iso- and terephthaloyl chlorides and conversion to high molecular weight polyesters via ring-opening polymerization is described. Sterically unhindered amines such as quinuclidine or 1,4-diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane (DABCO) catalyze the condensation significantly faster than other tertiary amines and are useful for carrying out this conversion in high yield, in the first direct reaction of diol and diacid chloride to form cyclic polyesters. The mixtures of oligomeric cyclics melt at 150-200 degrees C, providing liquids of low viscosity. Ring-opening polymerization using tin or titanate catalysts affords high molecular weight polymers within minutes. Complete polymerization of PBT oligomeric cyclics can be achieved at 180-200 degreesC, significantly below the polymer's melting point of 225 degreesC, and with molecular weights as high as 445 x 10(3). Polymers formed via such a process are more crystalline than conventionally prepared polyesters.

Title Cytokine Interaction and Immune Responses During Schistosoma Mansoni Infection.
Date
Journal Parasitology Today (personal Ed.)
Excerpt

Of the estimated 200 million people infected with Schistosoma, a subset develop severe life-threatening disease. Adult Schistosoma mansoni are refractory to the immune response and are long-lived, causing chronic exposure to parasite antigen. Although the adult worms themselves are not antigenically inert, it is the parasite eggs that, by accumulating in the liver and traversing the intestinal wall, place a complex series of often-conflicting demands on the host's immune system. In this article, Laura Rosa Brunet, David Dunne and Edward Pearce discuss data from experimental studies in the mouse and field studies in endemic areas that combine to suggest that it is a failure to juggle this immunological conflict that results in severe disease.

Title A Bone Morphogenetic Protein Homologue in the Parasitic Flatworm, Schistosoma Mansoni.
Date
Journal International Journal for Parasitology
Excerpt

Members of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) subfamily of cytokines control many aspects of metazoan development including patterning and organogenesis. Despite the recognition that schistosomes possess key components of a BMP signaling pathway, a BMP-like ligand in the parasitic flatworm Schistosoma mansoni remained elusive. Here, we describe the cloning and characterisation of an S. mansoni BMP (SmBMP). SmBMP is most closely related to BMP homologues from the free-living flatworms Schmidtea mediterranea and Dugesia japonica, with 51% and 47% identity at the amino acid level, respectively. Based on reverse transcription-PCR, SmBMP is expressed throughout the mammalian life-cycle of the parasite in both male and female schistosomes. In support of these results, antibodies to SmBMP successfully immunoprecipitated the protein in adult male and female antigen preparations with more protein detected in male parasites. Immunofluorescent studies localised SmBMP to the protonephridia of adult parasites, and SmBMP was identified in the excretory/secretory products of adult male parasites via immunoprecipitation. With the previous description of a TGF-beta subfamily homologue in S. mansoni, ligands representing both arms of the TGF-beta superfamily have now been described in this trematode.

Title Schistosoma Mansoni Egg Antigen-mediated Modulation of Toll-like Receptor (tlr)-induced Activation Occurs Independently of Tlr2, Tlr4, and Myd88.
Date
Journal Infection and Immunity
Excerpt

Unlike most pathogens, helminth parasites and their products induce strong Th2 responses, and dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages exposed to helminth antigens generally fail to produce interleukin-12. Rather, it has been shown that helminth products such as soluble egg antigens (SEA; a soluble extract from Schistosoma mansoni eggs) inhibit the activation of DCs in response to classical Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands such as lipopolysaccharide or CpG. Nevertheless, recent work has suggested that TLR4 and/or TLR2 plays an important role in the recognition of helminth products by DCs and macrophages and in the development of Th2 responses. Using DCs derived from TLR4(-/-), TLR2(-/-), or MyD88(-/-) mice, we have demonstrated that the ability of SEA to modulate DC activation is MyD88 independent and requires neither TLR4 nor TLR2. Moreover, TLR2 and TLR4 are not required for SEA-pulsed DCs to induce Th2 responses in naïve mice.

Title Functional Dichotomy of Dendritic Cells Following Interaction with Leishmania Braziliensis: Infected Cells Produce High Levels of Tnf-alpha, Whereas Bystander Dendritic Cells Are Activated to Promote T Cell Responses.
Date
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

Leishmania braziliensis infections are often associated with exaggerated immune responses that can sometimes lead to severe disease associated with high levels of IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha. To explore the role played by dendritic cells (DCs) in these responses, we characterized DCs that were exposed to L. braziliensis. We found that DCs cultured with L. braziliensis parasites up-regulated DC activation markers and produced IL-12 and TNF-alpha. However, not all DCs in the culture became infected, and an analysis of infected and uninfected DCs demonstrated that the up-regulation of activation markers and IL-12 production was primarily confined to the uninfected (bystander) DCs. Further studies with Transwell chambers and parasite fractions indicated that the activation of bystander DCs was mediated by a soluble parasite product, in a type 1 IFN- and MyD88-independent, but TNF-alpha-dependent fashion, and that the activated DCs were more efficient at presenting Ag than control DCs. In contrast, L. braziliensis-infected DCs failed to up-regulate activation markers, but exhibited a dramatic enhancement in their ability to produce TNF-alpha in response to LPS as compared with uninfected DCs. These findings uncover a dual role for DCs in L. braziliensis infection: T cell activation by bystander DCs due to enhanced Ag-presenting capacity following exposure to soluble parasite products, and increased production of TNF-alpha by infected cells that may contribute to the local control of the parasites, but concomitantly induce immunopathology.

Title Cutting Edge: Helminth Infection Induces Ige in the Absence of Mu- or Delta-chain Expression.
Date
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

Infections with helminth parasites are associated with an IgE isotype switch and high serum IgE concentrations. IgE is rapidly bound by the high affinity IgE receptor (Fc epsilonRI), thereby sensitizing Fc epsilonRI-bearing basophils and mast cells for IgE-inducible effector functions such as IL-4 production. The development of Ab-secreting B cells is dependent on IgM and consequently, muMT mice, which lack surface IgM, are considered devoid of Abs. In this study we report the unexpected finding that C57BL/6 muMT mice generate robust IgE responses upon infection with three distinct helminth parasites, Heligmosomoides polygyrus, Trichuris muris, and Schistosoma mansoni. IgE is produced despite an apparent block in B cell development and licenses basophils for IgE-induced IL-4 production. Our findings reveal the existence of an evolutionarily conserved, IgM-independent pathway for the production of IgE upon infection with helminth parasites.

Title Uncoupling of Induced Protein Processing from Maturation in Dendritic Cells Exposed to a Highly Antigenic Preparation from a Helminth Parasite.
Date
Journal Journal of Immunology (baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Excerpt

TLR ligands induce dendritic cell (DC) maturation. During this process, cells initiate proteolytic degradation of internalized protein Ags into peptides that complex with MHC class II (MHC II) and simultaneously increase expression of costimulatory molecules and of cytokines such as IL-6, IL-12, and IL-23. In these ways, TLR-activated DCs are able to activate naive Th cells and initiate Th1 and Th17 responses, and TLR ligands thus serve as adjuvants for these types of responses. In contrast, products from helminth parasites generally do not activate DCs and act as adjuvants for Th2 response induction. We have explored the underlying basis for this form of adjuvanticity. We show that exposure of DCs to soluble Ags from the eggs of the helminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni (schistosome egg Ag (SEA)) leads to the induction of proteolysis of internalized Ag. This occurs in the absence of significant induction of costimulatory molecule expression or production of proinflammatory cytokines. SEA-induced Ag processing occurs independently of MyD88 or Toll/IL-1 receptor domain containing adaptor inducing IFN-beta (Trif), but is significantly attenuated by inhibition of p38, but not ERK, signaling. In DCs exposed to SEA, ligation of CD40 provides a necessary second signal that stimulates costimulatory molecule expression, allowing DCs to mature into capable APCs. Collectively, the data demonstrate the existence of a MyD88/Trif-independent, p38-dependent pathway of Ag processing in DCs, which is uncoupled from conventional DC maturation and is associated with induction of Th2-type immune responses.

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