• basophil;
  • chemokine (C–C) motif ligand 24;
  • Listeria;
  • Th2 response


Infection with Listeria induces a dominant shift to the Th1 immune response and inhibits the Th2 response. Papain is frequently utilized in animal models of allergies. Papain administration induces chemotaxis of basophils to regional lymph nodes (LNs) and production of interleukin (IL)-4 by basophils, resulting in a Th2-dominant status and increased IgE production in LNs. In this model, production of immunoglobulin (Ig) E by LN cells is primarily controlled by IL-4 produced by basophils. Based on this model, it was postulated that Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) infection suppresses IgE production by LN cells. Therefore, the effects of Lm infection on a papain-induced mouse model of allergies were investigated. Following s.c. injection of papain, basophils transiently migrated to draining LNs because of the effects of chemokine (C–C) motif ligand (CCL) 24 and secreted IL-4, inducing a Th2 response. Lm infection blocked recruitment of basophils into the popliteal LNs by inhibiting CCL24 production. Papain-induced class switch recombination (CSR) to IgE is inhibited by Lm infection, whereas CSR to IgG1 is not affected by the same treatment. Therefore, the CSR of IgG1 to IgE is basophil-dependent, whereas the CSR of IgM to IgG1 is basophil-independent. Hence, Lm infection suppresses CSR to IgE without affecting CSR to IgG1.