The immunomodulatory parasitic worm product ES-62 reduces lupus-associated accelerated atherosclerosis in a mouse model

Int J Parasitol. 2015 Mar;45(4):203-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2014.12.006. Epub 2015 Feb 7.


ES-62 is an anti-inflammatory phosphorylcholine-containing glycoprotein secreted by the filarial nematode Acanthocheilonema viteae. Accelerated atherosclerosis frequently occurs in systemic lupus erythematosus, resulting in substantial cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. We examined the effects of ES-62 in the gld.apoE(-/-) mouse model of this condition. Treatment with ES-62 did not substantially modulate renal pathology but caused decreased anti-nuclear autoantibody levels. Moreover, a striking 60% reduction in aortic atherosclerotic lesions was observed, with an associated decrease in macrophages and fibrosis. We believe that these latter findings constitute the first example of a defined parasitic worm product with therapeutic potential in atherosclerosis: ES-62-based drugs may represent a novel approach to control accelerated atherosclerosis in systemic lupus erythematosus.

Keywords: Atherosclerosis; ES-62; Helminth; Systemic lupus erythematosus.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / blood
  • Atherosclerosis / pathology
  • Atherosclerosis / prevention & control*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fibrosis / pathology
  • Helminth Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Immunologic Factors / administration & dosage*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • ES-62 protein, Acanthocheilonema viteae
  • Helminth Proteins
  • Immunologic Factors