Helminth Imprinting of Hematopoietic Stem Cells Sustains Anti-Inflammatory Trained Innate Immunity That Attenuates Autoimmune Disease

J Immunol. 2021 Apr 1;206(7):1618-1630. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.2001225. Epub 2021 Feb 12.


Certain proinflammatory stimuli can metabolically and epigenetically modify monocytes/macrophages or NK cells to be more responsive to secondary stimuli, a process known as trained innate immunity. However, the longevity of trained innate immunity is unclear. In this study, we report that Fasciola hepatica excretory-secretory products (FHES) can imprint an anti-inflammatory phenotype on long-term hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and monocyte precursor populations, enhancing their proliferation and differentiation into anti-inflammatory Ly6Clow monocytes. These monocytes expand and populate multiple compartments within mice, conferring hyporesponsiveness to proinflammatory stimuli and reduced susceptibility to induction of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Mice treated with FHES had enhanced alternatively activated macrophages, reduced Th1 and Th17 responses, and attenuating effects on autoimmunity that persisted for 8 mo. Furthermore, transplantation of HSCs from FHES-treated mice transferred the anti-inflammatory phenotype to naive mice. Our findings demonstrate that helminth products can modulate HSCs to promote development of anti-inflammatory myeloid cells that attenuate T cell-mediated autoimmune disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Ly / metabolism
  • Autoimmunity
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / immunology*
  • Fasciola hepatica / physiology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Macrophage Activation
  • Macrophages / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Monocytes / physiology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / immunology*
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Th17 Cells / immunology*


  • Antigens, Ly
  • Ly-6C antigen, mouse