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Keywords:

  • allergy;
  • dendritic cells;
  • hygiene hypothesis;
  • Schistosoma japonicum

Summary

Several previous studies have demonstrated that some helminth infections can inhibit allergic reactions, but the examination on the effect of live Schistosoma japonicum (SJ) infection on allergic inflammation remains limited. The aim of this study was to examine the effect and mechanism of chronic SJ infection on airway allergic inflammation in a murine model. The data showed that chronic SJ infection suppressed airway eosinophilia, mucus production and antigen-specific IgE responses induced by ovalbumin (OVA) sensitization and challenge. Cytokine production analysis showed that chronic SJ infection reduced allergen-driven interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-5 production, but had no significant effect on IFN-γ production. More importantly, we found that the adoptive transfer of dendritic cells (DCs) from SJ-infected mice dramatically decreased airway allergic inflammation in the recipients, which was associated with significant decrease of IL-4/IL-5 production and increase of IL-10 production. The results suggest that SJ infection may inhibit the development of allergy and that DCs may be involved in the process of helminth infection-mediated modulation of allergic inflammation.