Schistosoma mansoni antigens modulate the activity of the innate immune response and prevent onset of type 1 diabetes

Eur J Immunol. 2003 May;33(5):1439-49. doi: 10.1002/eji.200323910.


Infection with Schistosoma mansoni (S. mansoni) or exposure to eggs from this helminth inhibits the development of type 1 diabetes in NOD mice. In this study we show that soluble extracts of S. mansoni worm or egg completely prevent onset of type 1 diabetes in these mice but only if injection is started at 4 weeks of age. T cells from diabetes-protected mice make IL-10 in recall responses to parasite antigens. These cells are furthermore impaired in their ability to transfer diabetes to NOD-SCID recipients. Bone marrow dendritic cells derived from NOD mice are found to make more IL-10 and less IL-12 following culture with S. mansoni soluble egg antigens in conjunction with lipopolysaccharides. NOD mice are deficient in NKT cells. Soluble worm and egg antigens increase the numbers of V alpha 14i NKT cells in NOD mice. These effects of schistosome antigens on the innate immune system provide a mechanism for their ability to prevent type 1 diabetes in NOD mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Helminth / pharmacology*
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / prevention & control*
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Interleukin-10 / biosynthesis
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Ovum / immunology
  • Schistosoma mansoni / immunology*
  • Spleen / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Antigens, Helminth
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-10