[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has been proposed that infections with helminths can protect from the development of allergic diseases. However, epidemiological and experimental studies have yielded conflicting results. Therefore we investigated if an infection with Nippostrongylus brasiliensis influenced the development of allergen-induced Th2 cell responses in mice. We found a decrease in allergen-induced airway eosinophilia and Eotaxin levels in the airways when mice were infected with the helminths 8 weeks, and especially 4 weeks, but not 1 or 2 weeks before ovalbumin (OVA)-airway challenge. While OVA-specific IgG1 and IgE serum levels and cutaneous hypersensitivity reactions were not reduced by the helminth infection, there was a reduction in OVA-specific IgG1 and IgE levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of mice. Suppression of allergen-induced airway eosinophilia and reduction of Eotaxin production was not observed in IL-10 deficient mice. In addition, we found that helminth-induced airway eosinophilia and Eotaxin production was strongly increased in IL-10 deficient mice infected with the helminths in comparison to control mice. Taken together, these results show that infection with N. brasiliensis suppresses the development of allergen-induced airway eosinophilia and that this effect may be mediated by IL-10. Our results support the view that helminth infections can contribute to the suppression of allergies in humans.
Full-text · Article · May 2004 · International Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most infections with respiratory viruses induce Th1 responses characterized by the generation of Th1 and CD8(+) T cells secreting IFN-gamma, which in turn have been shown to inhibit the development of Th2 cells. Therefore, it could be expected that respiratory viral infections mediate protection against asthma. However, the opposite seems to be true, because viral infections are often associated with the exacerbation of asthma. For this reason, we investigated what effect an influenza A (flu) virus infection has on the development of asthma. We found that flu infection 1, 3, 6, or 9 wk before allergen airway challenge resulted in a strong suppression of allergen-induced airway eosinophilia. This effect was associated with strongly reduced numbers of Th2 cells in the airways and was not observed in IFN-gamma- or IL-12 p35-deficient mice. Mice infected with flu virus and immunized with OVA showed decreased IL-5 and increased IFN-gamma, eotaxin/CC chemokine ligand (CCL)11, RANTES/CCL5, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1/CCL2 levels in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and increased airway hyperreactivity compared with OVA-immunized mice. These results suggest that the flu virus infection reduced airway eosinophilia by inducing Th1 responses, which lead to the inefficient recruitment of Th2 cells into the airways. However, OVA-specific IgE and IgG1 serum levels, blood eosinophilia, and goblet cell metaplasia in the lung were not reduced by the flu infection. Flu virus infection also directly induced AHR and goblet cell metaplasia. Taken together, our results show that flu virus infections can induce, exacerbate, and suppress features of asthmatic disease in mice.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2003 · The Journal of Immunology