Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Granulomatous inflammation in schistosomiasis is a delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction mediated by CD4+ T cells specific for parasite egg antigens (Ags). In an attempt to control T-cell responses leading to excessive harmful inflammation and granuloma formation, especially in the liver, BALB/c mice were intranasally (i.n.) treated with soluble Schistosoma mansoni egg Ags (SEA) conjugated to cholera toxin B subunit (CTB), a mucosa-binding protein with demonstrated capacity to suppress inflammatory T-cell functions after mucosal administration. Treatment with CTB–SEA significantly conjugate a reduced liver granuloma formation in infected mice associated with decreased SEA specific Th1- and Th2-type immune responses by liver leukocytes. Importantly, treatment with CTB–SEA conjugate also significantly reduced the mortality in chronically infected mice. In S. mansoni-infected large-granuloma forming CBA mice, i.n. treatment with purified Sm-p40, the major egg antigen, conjugated to CTB likewise significantly inhibited hepatic egg granuloma formation. A reduction of SEA-driven lymphoproliferation and of interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-5 production, together with an increase in transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 production, were observed in splenic cells from CTB-Sm-p40-treated SEA-sensitized mice, as well as in liver leukocytes from CTB-Sm-p40-treated schistosome-infected mice. These results indicate that mucosal administration of SEA or purified Sm-p40 antigen in conjunction with CTB is highly effective in curtailing immunopathologic manifestations of schistosomiasis in vivo in infected hosts.
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