Downregulation of immune responses in asthmatic humans by ES products of Marshallagia marshalli

Clin Respir J. 2017 Jan;11(1):83-89. doi: 10.1111/crj.12309. Epub 2015 May 22.


Background and aims: Helminths and their products are considered to possess therapeutic capability to control or even prevent immune-mediated diseases. Studies suggest that helminths induce a systemic immunomodulatory network, including regulatory T cells and anti-inflammatory interleukin-10 (IL-10), which might play a key role in the protection against the allergic phenotype. Thus, helminthic therapy is becoming of a major interest, and several researchers are enthusiastically tended to explore its role in allergic diseases.

Methods: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 25 asthmatic and 25 healthy human were collected. After isolation of PBMCs, they were stimulated with excretory/secretory (ES) antigen of M. marshalli, in incubator with 5% CO2 , 37°C. Total RNA was isolated from all cells from antigen stimulated and non-stimulated control PBMC in asthmatic and healthy human after 6 h. The concentration of Th1 type cytokines [interferon-γ (IFN-γ)] and Th2 type cytokines (IL-4) and T-reg cytokines [transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), IL-10] was determined using real-time polymerase chain reaction.

Results: Results showed that the IFN-γ expression was significantly decreased in culture condition with ES Ag of M. marshalli in healthy and asthmatic patients (P < 0.05). Similar data were obtained for IL-4 expression in both healthy individuals (<0.006) and asthmatic patients (<0.001). The increment of regulatory cytokines IL-10 and TGF-β expression was considerably increased in our investigation.

Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first report to document the suppressive effect that the M. marshalli ES product has on PBMSC cell culture of asthmatic patients. The present study provides new insights into understanding the immune modulation governed by parasite-derived products and the development of new asthma treatment strategies.

Keywords: Marshallagia marshalli; PBMC; asthma; cytokine responses.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Helminth / immunology*
  • Asthma / blood
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Asthma / parasitology
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Down-Regulation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / blood
  • Interferon-gamma / genetics
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Interleukin-10 / blood
  • Interleukin-10 / genetics
  • Interleukin-10 / immunology
  • Interleukin-4 / blood
  • Interleukin-4 / genetics
  • Interleukin-4 / immunology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / pathology
  • Male
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / blood
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / immunology
  • Trichostrongyloidea / immunology*
  • Young Adult


  • Antigens, Helminth
  • Cytokines
  • IL10 protein, human
  • IL4 protein, human
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-gamma