Submitted to: Trends in Immunology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2003
Publication Date: 5/15/2003
Citation: Gause, W., Urban Jr, J.F., Stadecker, M. 2003. The immune response to parasitic helminths: insight from murine models. Trends in Immunology. 24:269-277.
Technical Abstract: Helminth parasites are a large group of multi-cellular organisms that affect vast numbers of humans and are a major cause of disease. Several relevant experimental mouse models, representing the spectrum of human disease, have been very helpful in analyzing and characterizing the host immune response to the different helminths. Helminth infections are characterized by their ability to induce T helper 2 cell responses that generally result in eosinophilia, goblet and mast cell hyperplasia, and the production of reaginic and non-complement fixing antibodies. Recent observations have identified important features in the development and function of T helper and other effector cells. These cells can mediate immunopathology and protection in response to infection with these important pathogens. Despite these general common trends, however, it is increasingly clear that the immune response differs considerably between different helminths. In this review, there will be a specific focus on the factors that regulate the immune responses and the immunopathology in certain well-studied intestinal nematode parasites and schistosomes, emphasizing studies in experimental murine models.