Failure of the Anti-Inflammatory Parasitic Worm Product ES-62 to Provide Protection in Mouse Models of Type I Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Molecules. 2018 Oct 17;23(10):2669. doi: 10.3390/molecules23102669.


Parasitic helminths and their isolated secreted products show promise as novel treatments for allergic and autoimmune conditions in humans. Foremost amongst the secreted products is ES-62, a glycoprotein derived from Acanthocheilonema viteae, a filarial nematode parasite of gerbils, which is anti-inflammatory by virtue of covalently-attached phosphorylcholine (PC) moieties. ES-62 has been found to protect against disease in mouse models of rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and airway hyper-responsiveness. Furthermore, novel PC-based synthetic small molecule analogues (SMAs) of ES-62 have recently been demonstrated to show similar anti-inflammatory properties to the parent molecule. In spite of these successes, we now show that ES-62 and its SMAs are unable to provide protection in mouse models of certain autoimmune conditions where other helminth species or their secreted products can prevent disease development, namely type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease. We speculate on the reasons underlying ES-62's failures in these conditions and how the negative data generated may help us to further understand ES-62's mechanism of action.

Keywords: ES-62; helminth; inflammatory bowel disease; multiple sclerosis; nematode; type 1 diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Acanthocheilonema / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Helminth Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Helminth Proteins / chemistry
  • Helminths / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / pathology
  • Mice
  • Multiple Sclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • ES-62 protein, Acanthocheilonema viteae
  • Helminth Proteins