Cross-regulatory role of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), IL-4 and IL-10 in schistosome egg granuloma formation: in vivo regulation of Th activity and inflammation


Dr S. W. Chensue, MD, PhD, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine 113, Veterans Affairs Medical Centre, 2215 Fuller Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA.


This study examined the relationship ofIL-4, IL-10 and IFN-γ with regard to the local granuloma (GR) and draining lymph node (LN) response to Schistosoma mansoni eggs. Synchronized GR were induced in naive and schistosome-infected mice at the vigorous (8 weeks) and late chronic (20 weeks) stages. In LN cultures, IL-10 and IFN production peaked on day 4 and was greatest for 8 week-infected mice. All GR cultures contained IFN, but compared with naive mice IL-10 production was accelerated at 8 weeks and abrogated at 20 weeks, consistent with expansion and abatement of Th2 activity, Cytokine neutralization was performed in egg-challenged, naive mice that were adoptively sensitized with lymphoid cells from 8 week-infected donors. GR size, GR macrophage tumour necrosis factor (TNF) production and egg antigen-elicited IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-10 and IFN were examined on day 4 of GR formation, Anti-IFN augmented GR area by 40%, increased local IL-4 and IL-10, but decreased IFN and TNF production. In corresponding LN cultures, IFN decreased by about 50%, while IL-2, IL-4, IL-IO and lL-5 increased by nearly two-, four-, five- and six-fold, respectively, Anti-IL-10 did not affect GR size or GR cytokines, but increased IFN levels in LN cultures four-fold and decreased IL-2, IL-4, lL-5 and IL-10. Anti-IL-4 abrogated GR area by 40%, along with a reduction in local IL-4 and TNF production. In LN, IL-4 depletion reduced IL-4 and IL-5 by 60–70% and increased IFN levels. These results support the notion of a cross-regulatory network in which IFN inhibits Th2 and IL-10 inhibits ThI cells. IL-4 fosters Th2 cell differentiation in LN, but also performs a critical recruitment function in the eosinophil-rich schistosome egg-induced GR, whereas IFN contributes to enhanced GR macrophage function.