Modulation of cytokine production and response phenotypes in murine trichuriasis

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BALB/K mice are usually resistant to infection with the intestinal nematode parasite Trichuris muris and exhibit a Th2 dominated (IL-5, IL-9) response. Conversely in B10.BR mice, which are unable to expel T. muris, Th1 type (IFN-γ producing) cells predominate. We have manipulated the course of infection in these two strains of mice such that the period of host-parasite contact is extended in the former and curtailed in the latter. Extension of host-parasite contact in BALB/K mice beyond normal (day 21) resulted in the modulation of cytokines produced by in vitro concanavalin A (Con-A) stimulated MLNC away from IL-5 and IL-9 (Th2-type cytokines) in favour of the Th1-type cytokine IFN-γ. Curtailment of host parasite contact in B10.BR mice to less that 21 days resulted in elevated production of IL-5 and IL-9 by MLNC in the absence of elevated IFNγ levels. Thus modulation of expulsion phenotype also modulates cytokine production by T-cells in the MLN draining the site of infection, with a Th2 response being associated with resistance and a Th1 type response with the inability to expel the parasite. Mechanisms by which the modulated cytokine profiles arise are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-449
Number of pages8
JournalParasite Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • cytokines
  • nematode
  • Th1
  • Th2
  • Trichuris muris


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