Low-level infection with Trichuris muris significantly affects the polarization of the CD4 response

Eur J Immunol. 1994 Dec;24(12):3113-8. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830241230.


Resistance and susceptibility to the intestinal nematode Trichuris muris has been shown to be dependent upon the induction of T helper type 2 (Th2) or Th1 cells, respectively. This study demonstrates that in a normally resistant strain of mouse, i.e. BALB/K which mounts a dominant Th2 response, sub-threshold levels of infection (< 40 eggs) can survive and become sexually mature adult worms (10-20 adults). The immunological basis of this phenomenon was found to be a dramatically altered polarization of the CD4 response. The Th2-response characteristic of this strain of mouse infected with T. muris was shown to be significantly down-regulated as assessed by in vitro cytokine production [interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5 and IL-9]. In contrast, Th1 parameters of infection such as in vitro interferon-gamma production and the presence of parasite-specific IgG2a were greatly up-regulated in these mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Helminth / immunology*
  • Antigens, Helminth / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
  • Interleukin-4 / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology
  • Trichuriasis / immunology*
  • Trichuris / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Helminth
  • Antigens, Helminth
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-4