Inflammasomes promote immunity to microbial pathogens by regulating the function of IL-1-family cytokines such as IL-18 and IL-1β. However, the roles for inflammasomes during parasitic helminth infections remain unclear. We demonstrate that mice and humans infected with gastrointestinal nematodes display increased IL-18 secretion, which in Trichuris-infected or worm antigen-treated mice and in macrophages co-cultured with Trichuris antigens or exosome-like vesicles was dependent on the NLRP3 inflammasome. NLRP3-deficient mice displayed reduced pro-inflammatory type 1 cytokine responses and augmented protective type 2 immunity, which was reversed by IL-18 administration. NLRP3-dependent suppression of immunity partially required CD4+ cells but was apparent even in Rag1-/- mice that lack adaptive immune cells, suggesting that NLRP3 influences both innate and adaptive immunity. These data highlight a role for NLRP3 in limiting protective immunity to helminths, suggesting that targeting the NLRP3 inflammasome may be an approach for limiting the disease burden associated with helminth infections.
Keywords: IL-18; NLRP3; exosomes; goblet cells; helminth; immunopathology; inflammasome.
Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.