Gender-dependent specific immune response during chronic human Schistosomiasis haematobia

Clin Exp Immunol. 2001 Apr;124(1):62-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2249.2001.01495.x.


The cellular and humoral acquired immune responses to Schistosoma haematobium 28 kD gluthathione S-Transferase (Sh28GST) antigen were evaluated in a Senegalese population chronically infected with S. haematobium parasite. We show a gender-dependent immune response in adult individuals presenting similar intensities of infection. Indeed, the specific IgA response and production of TGF-beta and IL-10 were found significantly higher in females compared to males. In addition, we showed that this profile was combined with a weak production of Th1-related cytokines (TNFalpha and IFNgamma) and was associated with an absence of proliferation to the antigen. A significantly higher Nuclear Matrix Protein 41/7 secretion, an apoptosis marker, was specifically observed in mononuclear blood cell cultures of females suggesting that a specific cell death process was engaged in a gender-dependent manner. This specific profile could be associated with the so-called T helper type-3 (Th3) immune response specifically promoting the production of IgA and would be developed upon the down-regulation of the specific Type-1 response by a probable cell death mechanism. This gender-dependent immune regulation, which may be under the influence of nonimmunological factors like sexual hormones, may be related to the chronicity of the infection.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Helminth / biosynthesis*
  • Antibodies, Helminth / immunology
  • Antigens, Helminth / immunology*
  • Antigens, Nuclear
  • Apoptosis
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Glutathione Transferase*
  • Helminth Proteins*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunoglobulin A / biosynthesis*
  • Immunoglobulin A / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nuclear Matrix-Associated Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins / blood
  • Parasite Egg Count
  • Schistosoma haematobium / immunology*
  • Schistosomiasis haematobia / immunology*
  • Senegal
  • Sex Characteristics
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / classification
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis*


  • Antibodies, Helminth
  • Antigens, Helminth
  • Antigens, Nuclear
  • Helminth Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • NUMA1 protein, human
  • Nuclear Matrix-Associated Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interferon-gamma
  • 28 kDa gluthathione S-transferase antigen, Schistosoma haematobium
  • Glutathione Transferase