Schistosoma japonicum eggs modulate the activity of CD4+ CD25+ Tregs and prevent development of colitis in mice

Exp Parasitol. 2007 Aug;116(4):385-9. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2007.02.009. Epub 2007 Feb 28.


Crohn's disease (CD) is considered to be caused by a disorder of the immune system and helminth infections may interact with development of the disease. We induced colitis in mice by trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS) and observed the effects of intraperitoneally injected eggs of Schistosoma japonicum on the course of the disease. The inflammation in the colon was reduced in egg-treated mice and secretion of IFN-gamma (a Th1 cytokine) by cultured spleen cells in vitro was greatly suppressed, and of IL-4, IL-5 and IL-10 (Th2 cytokines) significantly elevated after egg injection. Also, the percentage of regulatory T-cells (Tregs) was increased in the spleens of egg-exposed mice with TNBS-induced colitis compared to non-egg exposed animals. The data suggest that Tregs may be activated by S. japonicum eggs and play a role in restoring immune disorders in TNBS-induced colitis of mice.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4 Antigens / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Colitis / immunology
  • Colitis / prevention & control*
  • Colon / pathology
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Rabbits
  • Schistosoma japonicum / immunology*
  • Schistosomiasis japonica / immunology*
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*


  • CD4 Antigens
  • Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit
  • Interferon-gamma