Intestinal helminthes induce immunosuppressive responses as well as type 2 immunity. Their suppressive properties are intended to regulate inflammatory diseases such as allergies and autoimmune diseases. This study evaluated whether helminthic infections suppress obesity, a chronic inflammatory state, using an intestinal nematode, Heligmosomoides polygyrus (Hp). Infection with Hp at the same time as feeding a high-fat diet (HFD) prevented weight gain, dyslipidaemia and glucose intolerance observed in uninfected obese mice. Immunologically, Hp infection skewed M1 macrophages to M2 macrophages and induced type 2 innate lymphoid cells in adipose tissues. The expression of interleukin (IL)-33, a potent initiator of type 2 responses, was also increased in association with uncoupled protein 1 (UCP1). To further investigate the anti-obesity effects of IL-33 in mice infected with Hp, IL-33-deficient mice were fed the HFD and infected with Hp. These mutant mice rapidly gained weight compared with wild-type mice, indicating the anti-obesity effect of IL-33. In the absence of IL-33, the rapid increase in weight was not prevented, and type 2 responses and UCP1 expression were not observed even during Hp infection. These results suggested that the suppression of obesity by Hp is dependent on IL-33.
Keywords: adipokines; hygiene hypothesis; immune regulation; parasitic nematodes.
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.