Background: Inverse relationship between helminths infection and immune-mediated diseases has inspired researchers to investigate therapeutic potential of helminths in allergic asthma. Helminth unique ability to induce immunoregulatory responses has already been documented in several experimental studies. This study was designed to investigate whether excretory/secretory (ES) and somatic products of Marshallagia marshalli modulate the development of ovalbumin-induced airway inflammation in a mouse model.
Methods: This study was carried out at the laboratories of Immunology and Parasitology of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran during spring and summer 2015. Allergic airway inflammation was induced in mice by intraperitoneal (IP) injection with ovalbumin (OVA). The effects of ES and somatic products of M. marshalli were analyzed by inflammatory cell infiltration in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), pathological changes and IgE response.
Results: Treatment with ES and somatic products of M. marshalli decreased cellular infiltration into BALF when they were administered during sensitization with allergen. Pathological changes were decreased in helminth-treated group, as demonstrated by reduced inflammatory cell infiltration, goblet cell hyperplasia, epithelial lesion and smooth muscle hypertrophy. However, no significant differences were observed in IgE serum levels, cytokines and eosinophil counts between different groups.
Conclusion: This study provides new insights into anti-inflammatory effects of ES and somatic products of M. marshalli, during the development of non-eosinophilic model of asthma. Further study is necessary to characterize immunomodulatory molecules derived from M. marshalli as a candidate for the treatment of airway inflammation.
Keywords: Asthma; Excretory/secretory; Helminth therapy; Marshallagia marshalli.