Many immune down-regulatory molecules have been isolated from parasites, including cystatin (cystain protease inhibitor). In a previous study, we isolated and characterized Type I cystatin (CsStefin-1) of the liver fluke, Clonorchis sinensis. To investigate whether the CsStefin-1 might be a new host immune modulator, we induced intestinal inflammation in mice by dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) and treated them with recombinant CsStefin-1 (rCsStefin-1). The disease activity index (DAI) increased in DSS only-treated mice. In contrast, the DAI value was significantly reduced in rCsStefin-1-treated mice than DSS only-treated mice. In addition, the colon length of DSS only-treated mice was shorter than that of rCsStefin-1 treated mice. The secretion levels of IFN-γ and TNF-α in the spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes (MLNs) were significantly increased by DSS treatment, but the level of TNF-α in MLNs was significantly decreased by rCsStefin-1 treatment. IL-10 production in both spleen and MLNs was significantly increased, and IL-10(+)F4/80(+) macrophage cells were significantly increased in the spleen and MLNs of rCsStefin-1 treated mice after DSS treatment. In conclusion, rCsStefin-1 could reduce the intestinal inflammation occurring after DSS treatment, these effects might be related with recruitment of IL-10 secreting macrophages.
Keywords: Clonorchis sinensis; IL-10+F4/80+ macrophages; cystatin; dextran sodium sulfate (DSS); inflammatory bowel disease.