Background: Recently the role of gastrointestinal nematodes in modulating the immune responses in inflammatory and immune-mediated conditions such as allergy and autoimmune diseases has been introduced. This is mainly due to the suppressive effects of somatic and excretory secretory (ES) products of nematodes on the immune responses. In this study, we evaluated the immunomodulatory potentials of somatic products of Marshallagia marshalli, a gastrointestinal nematodes of sheep, to suppress the immune-mediated responses in a murine model of allergic airway inflammation. BALB/c mice were intraperitoneally (IP) sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA)/Alum and then challenged with 1% OVA. Somatic products of M. marshalli were administered during each sensitization. The effects of somatic products on development of allergic airway inflammation were evaluated by analyzing inflammatory cells recruitment, histopathological changes, cytokines production (IL-4, IL-13, IL-10, TGF-β) and serum antibody titers (IgG1, IgG2a).
Results: Somatic products of M. marshalli were able to suppress the induction of allergic airway inflammation in mice. Modulation of Th2 type responses (IL-4, IL-13, IgG1) via upregulations of IL-10 and TGF-β production was observed after injection of somatic products of M. marshalli. In addition, inflammatory cells infiltration and pathological disorders were significantly diminished following administration of somatic products.
Conclusions: Our data raised the possibility that helminths could be a potential therapeutic candidate to alleviate the inflammatory conditions in allergic asthma. According to these results, we concluded that M. marshalli may contain immune-modulatory molecules that attenuate allergic airway inflammation via induction of regulatory cytokines. Further investigations are required to identify molecules that might have potentials for development of novel therapeutic targets.
Keywords: Allergic asthma; Helminth therapy; Immunomodulation; Marshallagia marshalli; Somatic products.