A novel therapeutic approach targeting articular inflammation using the filarial nematode-derived phosphorylcholine-containing glycoprotein ES-62

J Immunol. 2003 Aug 15;171(4):2127-33. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.171.4.2127.


Understanding modulation of the host immune system by pathogens offers rich therapeutic potential. Parasitic filarial nematodes are often tolerated in human hosts for decades with little evidence of pathology and this appears to reflect parasite-induced suppression of host proinflammatory immune responses. Consistent with this, we have previously described a filarial nematode-derived, secreted phosphorylcholine-containing glycoprotein, ES-62, with immunomodulatory activities that are broadly anti-inflammatory in nature. We sought to evaluate the therapeutic potential of ES-62 in vitro and in vivo in an autoimmune disease model, namely, collagen-induced arthritis in DBA/1 mice. ES-62 given during collagen priming significantly reduced initiation of inflammatory arthritis. Crucially, ES-62 was also found to suppress collagen-induced arthritis severity and progression when administration was delayed until after clinically evident disease onset. Ex vivo analyses revealed that in both cases, the effects were associated with inhibition of collagen-specific pro-inflammatory/Th1 cytokine (TNF-alpha, IL-6, and IFN-gamma) release. In parallel in vitro human tissue studies, ES-62 was found to significantly suppress macrophage activation via cognate interaction with activated T cells. Finally, ES-62 suppressed LPS-induced rheumatoid arthritis synovial TNF-alpha and IL-6 production. Evolutionary pressure has promoted the generation by pathogens of diverse mechanisms enabling host immune system evasion and induction of "tolerance." ES-62 represents one such mechanism. We now provide proof of concept that parasite-derived immunomodulatory strategies offer a novel therapeutic opportunity in inflammatory arthritis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Experimental / immunology
  • Arthritis, Experimental / prevention & control*
  • Arthritis, Experimental / therapy
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology
  • Cartilage, Articular / immunology*
  • Cartilage, Articular / pathology*
  • Cattle
  • Collagen Type II / administration & dosage
  • Collagen Type II / immunology
  • Dipetalonema / chemistry
  • Dipetalonema / immunology*
  • Glycoproteins / therapeutic use*
  • Helminth Proteins / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intradermal
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Phosphorylcholine / therapeutic use*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Collagen Type II
  • ES-62 protein, Acanthocheilonema viteae
  • Glycoproteins
  • Helminth Proteins
  • Phosphorylcholine