Modulation of cytokine production and response phenotypes in murine trichuriasis

Parasite Immunol. 1992 Jul;14(4):441-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3024.1992.tb00018.x.


BALB/K mice are usually resistant to infection with the intestinal nematode parasite Trichuris muris and exhibit a Th2 dominated (IL-5, IL-9) response. Conversely in B10.BR mice, which are unable to expel T. muris, Th1 type (IFN-gamma producing) cells predominate. We have manipulated the course of infection in these two strains of mice such that the period of host-parasite contact is extended in the former and curtailed in the latter. Extension of host-parasite contact in BALB/K mice beyond normal (day 21) resulted in the modulation of cytokines produced by in vitro concanavalin A (Con-A) stimulated MLNC away from IL-5 and IL-9 (Th2-type cytokines) in favour of the Th1-type cytokine IFN-gamma. Curtailment of host parasite contact in B10.BR mice to less than 21 days resulted in elevated production of IL-5 and IL-9 by MLNC in the absence of elevated IFN-gamma levels. Thus modulation of expulsion phenotype also modulates cytokine production by T-cells in the MLN draining the site of infection, with a Th2 response being associated with resistance and a Th1 type response with the inability to expel the parasite. Mechanisms by which the modulated cytokine profiles arise are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Helminth / immunology
  • Concanavalin A
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / parasitology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / parasitology
  • Trichuriasis / immunology*


  • Antigens, Helminth
  • Cytokines
  • Concanavalin A