Taenia crassiceps infection attenuates multiple low-dose streptozotocin-induced diabetes

J Biomed Biotechnol. 2010;2010:850541. doi: 10.1155/2010/850541. Epub 2010 Jan 4.


Taenia crassiceps, like other helminths, can exert regulatory effects on the immune system of its host. This study investigates the effect of chronic T. crassiceps infection on the outcome of Multiple Low Dose Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetes (MLDS). Healthy or previously T. crassiceps-infected mice received MLDS and type 1 diabetes (T1D) symptoms were evaluated for 6 weeks following the induction of MLDS. T. crassiceps-infected mice displayed lower blood glucose levels throughout the study. A significantly lower percentage of T. crassiceps-infected mice (40%) developed T1D compared to the uninfected group (100%). Insulitis was remarkably absent in T. crassiceps-infected mice, which had normal pancreatic insulin content, whereas uninfected mice showed a dramatic reduction in pancreatic insulin. Infected mice that received MLDS did not show an increase in their regulatory T cell population, however, they had a greater number of alternatively activated macrophages, higher levels of the cytokine IL-4, and lower levels of TNF-alpha. Therefore, infection with T. crassiceps causes an immunomodulation that modifies the incidence and development of MLDS-induced autoimmune diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / immunology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / pathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / prevention & control*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Hyperglycemia / complications
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Interleukin-4 / metabolism
  • Macrophage Activation / immunology
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Mice
  • Streptozocin / administration & dosage
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology
  • Taenia / physiology*
  • Taeniasis / complications*
  • Taeniasis / immunology


  • Insulin
  • Interleukin-4
  • Streptozocin