The immune response to Hymenolepis nana in mice decreases tumorigenesis induced by 7,12 dimethylbenz-anthracene

Cytokine. 2019 Nov;123:154743. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2019.154743. Epub 2019 Jun 27.


Background: Cancer is a high-impact disease throughout the world. A negative correlation has been established between the development of cancer and the Th2 immune response. Infection by helminth parasites is characterized by the induction of a strong and long-lasting Th2 response. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of the immune response induced by the infection with the helminth Hymenolepis nana, on the tumorigenesis induced by dimethylbenz-anthracene (DMBA) in mice.

Methodology: Four different groups of 14 female BALB/c mice were formed; Group A, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) (vehicle) was administered cutaneously, Group B infected with H. nana, group C, cutaneously DMBA and finally Group D infected with H. nana and cutaneous DMBA. The tumor load was determined in those animals that developed cancerous lesions. In all groups were determined: serum concentration of IgE, IFNγ, IL-10, IL-5 and malondialdehyde (MDA). The inflammatory infiltrate was analyzed from skin samples and the expression of the main eosinophilic protein and myeloperoxidase was determined.

Results: The group previously infected with H. nana had a reduced amount of tumors with smaller size, in comparison to the group that received only DMBA; this reduction was associated with lower levels of IFNγ and IL-10, while levels of IgE, IL-5 and MDA were higher. Further, the number of eosinophils and neutrophils was statistically higher in the animals that were previously infected with the helminth and developed less tumors.

Conclusion: The immune response induced by H. nana infection is associated with the reduction of tumors probably due to the activity of eosinophils and neutrophils.

Keywords: Cancer; DMBA; Hymenolepis nana; Th2 response; Tumor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Carcinogenesis / chemically induced
  • Carcinogenesis / immunology*
  • Carcinogenesis / pathology
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Female
  • Hymenolepiasis / immunology*
  • Hymenolepiasis / pathology
  • Hymenolepis nana / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / pathology


  • Cytokines
  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene