The role of Th2 cytokines, chemokines and parasite products in eosinophil recruitment to the gastrointestinal mucosa during helminth infection

Eur J Immunol. 2006 Jul;36(7):1753-63. doi: 10.1002/eji.200535492.


Trichinella spiralis and Trichuris muris are nematode parasites of the mouse, dwelling in the small and large intestines, respectively: worm expulsion requires development of a Th2 immune response. The chemokine CCL11 is agonist for the chemokine receptor CCR3 and acts in synergy with IL-5 to recruit eosinophils to inflammatory sites. The role of CCL11 in gastrointestinal helminth infection has not been previously studied. We challenged wild-type (WT) BALB/c, CCL11 single knockout (SKO) and CCL11 IL-5 double knockout (DKO) mice with either T. spiralis muscle larvae or T. muris eggs in order to examine eosinophil recruitment to the small and large intestine during helminth infection. A peripheral eosinophilia was seen in WT and SKO mice during T. spiralis infection but not with T. muris. Gastrointestinal eosinophilia was markedly reduced but not ablated in SKO mice -- and negligible in DKO mice -- infected with either nematode. The residual eosinophilia and up-regulation of CCL24 mRNA in the gastrointestinal tract of SKO mice infected with either nematode, together with the presence of an eosinophil-active factor in T. spiralis and T. muris products, suggest that CCL11 is the salient but not the sole eosinophil chemoattractant of biological significance during gastrointestinal helminth infection.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / immunology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chemokine CCL11
  • Chemokines, CC / deficiency
  • Chemokines, CC / genetics
  • Chemokines, CC / physiology*
  • Cytokines / physiology*
  • Eosinophils / cytology
  • Eosinophils / immunology*
  • Gastric Mucosa / immunology*
  • Gastric Mucosa / parasitology
  • Interleukin-15 / deficiency
  • Interleukin-15 / genetics
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / parasitology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / metabolism
  • Th2 Cells / parasitology*
  • Trichinella spiralis / immunology
  • Trichinellosis / immunology
  • Trichinellosis / parasitology
  • Trichinellosis / pathology
  • Trichuriasis / immunology
  • Trichuriasis / parasitology
  • Trichuriasis / pathology
  • Trichuris / immunology


  • Ccl11 protein, mouse
  • Chemokine CCL11
  • Chemokines, CC
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-15