Schistosoma mansoni infection alters co-stimulatory molecule expression and cell activation in asthma

Microbes Infect. 2009 Feb;11(2):223-9. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2008.11.017. Epub 2008 Dec 27.


Chronic schistosomiasis induces Th2/T regulatory responses which are able to down-modulate allergic inflammation and asthma. Because co-stimulatory molecules and IL-10 are essential for inducing tolerance, the aim of this study was to determine by flow cytometry, the expression of CD28, CTLA4, CD40L, CD80, CD86, HLA-DR, IL-10 and IL-10 receptor, by mononuclear cells from asthmatic individuals infected with Schistosoma mansoni and compare with non-infected individuals. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were stained with fluorochrome conjugated antibodies for the expression of co-stimulatory molecules, and for intracellular CTLA4 and IL-10 expression. There was no significant difference in the frequency of T cells expressing CD28 between the two groups. However, the frequency of TCD4(+) cells expressing CTLA4 and CD40L was higher in infected asthmatics. The frequency of monocytes expressing CD80 and CD86 did not differ between groups, while the expression of HLA-DR and IL-10 receptor was higher on monocytes of infected individuals. Furthermore, monocytes and CD4(+)CD25(+) cells of infected individuals expressed higher levels of IL-10. We conclude that, besides alternatively-activated monocytes that are, together with CD4(+)CD25(+) cells, important sources of IL-10, CTLA4 and CD40L expression may also participate in the down-modulation of inflammatory allergic response in S. mansoni-infected asthmatics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / biosynthesis
  • Asthma / complications*
  • Asthma / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Child
  • Down-Regulation
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / chemistry
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Male
  • Receptors, Immunologic / biosynthesis
  • Schistosoma mansoni / immunology*
  • Schistosomiasis mansoni / immunology*
  • Young Adult


  • Antigens, CD
  • Receptors, Immunologic