[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic asthma is associated with persistent lung inflammation and long-term remodelling of the airways that have proved refractory to conventional treatments such as steroids, despite their efficacy in controlling acute airway contraction and bronchial inflammation. As its recent dramatic increase in industrialised countries has not been mirrored in developing regions, it has been suggested that helminth infection may protect humans against developing asthma. Consistent with this, ES-62, an immunomodulator secreted by the parasitic worm Acanthocheilonema viteae, can prevent pathology associated with chronic asthma (cellular infiltration of the lungs, particularly neutrophils and mast cells, mucus hyper-production and airway thickening) in an experimental mouse model. Importantly, ES-62 can act even after airway remodelling has been established, arresting pathogenesis and ameliorating the inflammatory flares resulting from repeated exposure to allergen that are a debilitating feature of severe chronic asthma. Moreover, two chemical analogues of ES-62, 11a and 12b mimic its therapeutic actions in restoring levels of regulatory B cells and suppressing neutrophil and mast cell responses. These studies therefore provide a platform for developing ES-62-based drugs, with compounds 11a and 12b representing the first step in the development of a novel class of drugs to combat the hitherto intractable disorder of chronic asthma.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Scientific Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ES-62, a glycoprotein secreted by the filarial nematode Acanthocheilonema viteae, has been shown to modulate the immune system through subversion of signal transduction pathways operating in various immune system cells. With respect to human bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMMCs), ES-62 was previously shown to inhibit FcϵRI-mediated mast cell functional responses such as degranulation and pro-inflammatory cytokine release through a mechanism involving the degradation of PKC-α. At the same time, it was noted that the worm product was able to degrade certain other PKC isoforms but the significance of this was uncertain. In this study, we have employed PKC isoform KO mice to investigate the role of PKC-α, -β -ϵ, and -θ in mouse BMMC in order to establish their involvement in mast cell-mediated responses and also, if their absence impacts on ES-62's activity. The data obtained support that in response to antigen cross-linking of IgE bound to FcϵRI, pro-inflammatory cytokine release is controlled in part by a partnership between one conventional and one novel isoform with PKC-α and -θ acting as positive regulators of IL-6 and TNF-α production, while PKC-β and ϵ act as negative regulators of such cytokines. Furthermore, ES-62 appears to target certain other PKC isoforms in addition to PKC-α to inhibit cytokine release and this may enable it to more efficiently inhibit mast cell responses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
The hygiene hypothesis suggests that parasitic helminths (worms) protect against the development of autoimmune disease via a serendipitous side effect of worm-derived immunomodulators that concomitantly promote parasite survival and limit host pathology. The aim of this study was to investigate whether ES-62, a phosphorylcholine-containing glycoprotein secreted by the filarial nematode Acanthocheilonema viteae, protects against kidney damage in an MRL/lpr mouse model of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
MRL/lpr mice progressively produce high levels of autoantibodies, and the resultant deposition of immune complexes drives kidney pathology. The effects of ES-62 on disease progression were assessed by measurement of proteinuria, assessment of kidney histology, determination of antinuclear antibody (ANA) production and cytokine levels, and flow cytometric analysis of relevant cellular populations.
ES-62 restored the disrupted balance between effector and regulatory B cells in MRL/lpr mice by inhibiting plasmablast differentiation, with a consequent reduction in ANA production and deposition of immune complexes and C3a in the kidneys. Moreover, by reducing interleukin-22 production, ES-62 may desensitize downstream effector mechanisms in the pathogenesis of kidney disease. Highlighting the therapeutic importance of resetting B cell responses, adoptive transfer of purified splenic B cells from ES-62-treated MRL/lpr mice mimicked the protection afforded by the helminth product. Mechanistically, this reflects down-regulation of myeloid differentiation factor 88 expression by B cells and also kidney cells, resulting in inhibition of pathogenic cross-talk among Toll-like receptor-, C3a-, and immune complex-mediated effector mechanisms.
This study provides the first demonstration of protection against kidney pathology by a parasitic worm-derived immunomodulator in a model of SLE and suggests therapeutic potential for drugs based on the mechanism of action of ES-62.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Arthritis and Rheumatology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ES-62 is a phosphorylcholine (PC)-containing glycoprotein secreted by the filarial nematode Acanthocheilonema viteae that acts to modulate the host immune response to promote the establishment of chronic helminth infection. Reflecting its anti-inflammatory actions, we have previously reported that ES-62 protects mice from developing Collagen-Induced Arthritis (CIA): thus, as this helminth-derived product may exhibit therapeutic potential in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), it is important to understand the protective immunoregulatory mechanisms triggered by ES-62 in this model in vivo. We have established to date that ES-62 acts by downregulating pathogenic Th17/IL-17-mediated responses and upregulating the regulatory cytokine IL-10. In addition, our studies have identified that IL-22, another member of the IL-10 family of cytokines, exerts dual pathogenic and protective roles in this model of RA with ES-62 harnessing the cytokine’s inflammation-resolving and tissue repair properties in the joint during the established phase of disease. Here, we discuss the counter-regulatory roles of IL-22 in the murine model of CIA and present additional novel data showing that ES-62 selectively induces γδ T cells with the capacity to induce IL-22 production and that gd T cells with the capacity to produce IL-22, but not IL-17, induced during CIA can be identified by their expression of TLR4. Moreover, we also show that treatment of mice undergoing CIA with the active PC moiety of ES-62, in the form of PC conjugated to BSA, is not only sufficient to mimic the ES-62-dependent suppression of pathogenic IL-17 responses shown previously but also that of the IL-22 and IL-10 up-regulation observed with the parasitic worm product during CIA. These findings not only reinforce the potential of IL-22, firstly described as a Th17-related pro-inflammatory cytokine, as a protective factor in arthritis but also suggest that drugs based on the PC moiety found in ES-62 may be able to harness the joint-protecting activities of IL-22 therapeutically.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ES-62, a glycoprotein secreted by the filarial nematode Acanthocheilonema viteae, exhibits anti-inflammatory properties by virtue of covalently attached phosphorylcholine (PC) moieties. Screening of a library of ES-62 PC-based small molecule analogues (SMAs) revealed that two compounds, termed 11a and 12b, mirrored the helminth product both in inhibiting mast cell degranulation and cytokine responses in vitro and in preventing ovalbumin-induced Th2-associated airway inflammation and eosinophil infiltration of the lungs in mice. Furthermore, the two SMAs inhibited neutrophil infiltration of the lungs when administered therapeutically. ES-62-SMAs 11a and 12b thus represent starting points for novel drug development for allergies such as asthma.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · International Journal for Parasitology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
The parasitic worm-derived immunomodulator ES-62 protects against disease in the mouse collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by suppressing pathogenic interleukin-17 (IL-17) responses. The Th17-associated cytokine IL-22 also appears to have a pathogenic role in autoimmune arthritis, particularly in promoting proinflammatory responses by synovial fibroblasts and osteoclastogenesis. The present study was undertaken to investigate whether the protection against joint damage afforded by ES-62 also reflects suppression of IL-22.
The role(s) of IL-22 was assessed by investigating the effects of neutralizing anti-IL-22 antibodies and recombinant IL-22 (rIL-22) on proinflammatory cytokine production, synovial fibroblast responses, and joint damage in mice with CIA in the presence or absence of ES-62.
Neutralization of IL-22 during the initiation phase abrogated CIA, while administration of rIL-22 enhanced synovial fibroblast responses and exacerbated joint pathology. In contrast, after disease onset anti-IL-22 did not suppress progression, whereas administration of rIL-22 promoted resolution of inflammation. Consistent with these late antiinflammatory effects, the protection afforded by ES-62 was associated with elevated levels of IL-22 in the serum and joints that reflected a desensitization of the synovial fibroblast responses. Moreover, neutralization of IL-22 during the late effector stage of disease prevented ES-62-mediated desensitization of synovial fibroblast responses and protection against CIA.
IL-22 plays a dual role in CIA, being pathogenic during the initiation phase while acting to resolve inflammation and joint damage during established disease. Harnessing of the tissue repair properties of IL-22 by ES-62 highlights the potential for joint-targeted therapeutic modulation of synovial fibroblast responses and consequent protection against bone damage in RA.
Preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Arthritis and Rheumatology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Filarial nematodes cause long-term infections in hundreds of millions of people. A significant proportion of those affected develop a number of debilitating health problems but, remarkably, such infections are often unnoticed for many years. It is well known that parasitic worms modulate, yet do not completely inhibit, host immunological pathways, promoting their survival by limiting effective immune mechanisms. Such immunoregulation largely depends on molecules released by the worms, termed excretory-secretory products (ES). One of these products is the molecule ES-62, which is actively secreted by the rodent filarial nematode Acanthocheilonema viteae. ES-62 has been shown to exert anti-inflammatory actions thorough its phosphorylcholine (PC)-containing moiety on a variety of cells of the immune system, affecting intracellular signalling pathways associated with antigen receptor- and TLR-dependent responses. We summarise here how ES-62 modulates key signal transduction elements and how such immunomodulation confers protection to animals subjected to certain experimental models of inflammatory disease. Finally, we discuss recent results showing that it is possible to synthetize small molecule analogues (SMAs) that mimic the anti-inflammatory properties of ES-62, opening an exciting new drug development field in translational medicine.
No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously reported that ES-62, a molecule secreted by the parasitic filarial nematode Acanthocheilonema viteae, protects mice from developing collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). Together with increasing evidence that worm infection may protect against autoimmune conditions, this raises the possibility that ES-62 may have therapeutic potential in rheumatoid arthritis and hence, it is important to fully understand its mechanism of action. To this end, we have established to date that ES-62 protection in CIA is associated with suppressed T helper type 1 (Th1)/Th17 responses, reduced collagen-specific IgG2a antibodies and increased interleukin-10 (IL-10) production by splenocytes. IL-10-producing regulatory B cells have been proposed to suppress pathogenic Th1/Th17 responses in CIA: interestingly therefore, although the levels of IL-10-producing B cells were decreased in the spleens of mice with CIA, ES-62 was found to restore these to the levels found in naive mice. In addition, exposure to ES-62 decreased effector B-cell, particularly plasma cell, infiltration of the joints, and such infiltrating B cells showed dramatically reduced levels of Toll-like receptor 4 and the activation markers, CD80 and CD86. Collectively, this induction of hyporesponsiveness of effector B-cell responses, in the context of the resetting of the levels of IL-10-producing B cells, is suggestive of a modulation of the balance between effector and regulatory B-cell responses that may contribute to ES-62-mediated suppression of CIA-associated inflammation and inhibition of production of pathogenic collagen-specific IgG2a antibodies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parasitic worms are able to survive in their mammalian host for many years due to their ability to manipulate the immune response by secreting immunomodulatory products. It is increasingly clear that, reflecting the anti-inflammatory actions of such worm-derived immunomodulators, there is an inverse correlation between helminth infection and autoimmune diseases in the developing world. As the decrease in helminth infections due to increased sanitation has correlated with an alarming increase in prevalence of such disorders in industrialised countries, this "Hygiene Hypothesis" has led to the proposal that worms and their secreted products offer a novel platform for the development of safe and effective strategies for the treatment of autoimmune disorders. Here we review the anti-inflammatory effects of one such immunomodulator, ES-62 on innate and adaptive immune responses and the mechanisms it exploits to afford protection in the murine Collagen Induced Arthritis (CIA) model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). As its core mechanism involves targeting of IL-17 responses, which despite being pathogenic in RA are important for combating infection, we discuss how its selective targeting of IL-17 production by Th17 and γδ T cells, whilst leaving that of CD49b+ Natural Killer (NK and NK T) cells intact, reflects the ability of helminths to modulate the immune system without immunocompromising the host. Exploiting helminth immunomodulatory mechanisms therefore offers the potential for safer therapies than current biologics, such as "IL-17 blockers", that are not able to discriminate sources of IL-17 and hence present adverse effects that limit their therapeutic potential.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In spite of increasing evidence that parasitic worms may protect humans from developing allergic and autoimmune diseases, and the continuing identification of defined helminth-derived immunomodulatory molecules, to date no new anti-inflammatory drugs have been developed from these organisms. We have approached this matter in a novel manner by synthesizing a library of drug-like small molecules based upon phosphorylcholine, the active moiety of the anti-inflammatory Acanthocheilonema viteae product, ES-62, which as an immunogenic protein is unsuitable for use as a drug. Following preliminary in vitro screening for inhibitory effects on relevant macrophage cytokine responses, a sulfone-containing phosphorylcholine analogue (11a) was selected for testing in an in vivo model of inflammation, collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). Testing revealed that (11a) was as effective as ES-62 in protecting DBA/1 mice from developing CIA and mirrored its mechanism of action in downregulating the TLR/IL1R transducer, MyD88. (11a) is thus a novel prototype for anti-inflammatory drug development.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ES-62, an immunomodulator secreted by filarial nematodes, exhibits therapeutic potential in mouse models of allergic inflammation, at least in part by inducing the desensitisation of Fc RI-mediated mast cell responses. However, in addition to their pathogenic roles in allergic and autoimmune diseases, mast cells are important in fighting infection, wound healing, and resolving inflammation, reflecting that mast cells exhibit a phenotypic and functional plasticity. We have therefore characterised the differential functional responses to antigen (via Fc RI) and LPS and their modulation by ES-62 of the mature peritoneal-derived mast cells (PDMC; serosal) and those of the connective tissue-like mast cells (CTMC) and the mucosal-like mast cells derived from bone marrow progenitors (BMMC) as a first step to produce disease tissue-targeted therapeutics based on ES-62 action. All three mast cell populations were rendered hyporesponsive by ES-62 and whilst the mechanisms underlying such desensitisation have not been fully delineated, they reflect a downregulation of calcium and PKC signalling. ES-62 also downregulated MyD88 and PKC in mucosal-type BMMC but not PDMC, the additional signals targeted in mucosal-type BMMC likely reflecting that these cells respond to antigen and LPS by degranulation and cytokine secretion whereas PDMC predominantly respond in a degranulation-based manner.
Preview · Article · Feb 2013 · Journal of Parasitology Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease in which imbalances in pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines promote the induction of autoimmunity, inflammation and joint destruction. Methotrexate, the standard disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD), has shown a gradual loss of efficacy in a significant proportion of patients, probably due to the onset of drug resistance, and thus it was hoped that the development of biologics would revolutionise RA management. Even though biologics have improved the therapy of patients refractive to DMARDs, they require parenteral administration and may leave patients open to serious infection and cancer. Therefore, attention has also been focused on inhibitors of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), signalling enzymes that play key roles in pathogenic cytokine production, and their downstream effector pathways, in order to create safe and effective oral drugs. This article therefore provides an overview of the structure and function of MAPKs and their role in the pathogenesis of RA as context to describing the advances in the development of specific, druggable MAPK inhibitors. Their potential as therapies in the management of RA is also discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously demonstrated inhibition of ovalbumin (OVA)-induced allergic airway hyper-responsiveness in the mouse using ES-62, a phosphorylcholine-containing glycoprotein secreted by the filarial nematode, Acanthocheilonema viteae. This inhibition correlated with ES-62-induced mast cell desensitisation, although the degree to which this reflected direct targeting of mast cells remained unclear as suppression of the Th2 phenotype of the inflammatory response, as measured by eosinophilia and IL-4 levels in the lungs, was also observed. We now show that inhibition of the lung Th2 phenotype is reflected in ex vivo analyses of draining lymph node recall cultures and accompanied by a decrease in the serum levels of total and OVA-specific IgE. Moreover, ES-62 also suppresses the lung infiltration by neutrophils that is associated with severe asthma and is generally refractory to conventional anti-inflammatory therapies, including steroids. Protection against Th2-associated airway inflammation does not reflect induction of regulatory T cell (Treg) responses (there is no increased IL-10 or Foxp3 expression) but rather a switch in polarisation towards increased T-bet expression and IFNγ production. This ES-62-driven switch in the Th1/Th2 balance is accompanied by decreased IL-17 responses, a finding in line with reports that IFNγ and IL-17 are counter-regulatory. Consistent with ES-62 mediating its effects via IFNγ-mediated suppression of pathogenic Th2/Th17 responses, we found that neutralising anti-IFNγ antibodies blocked protection against airway inflammation in terms of pro-inflammatory cell infiltration, particularly by neutrophils and lung pathology. Collectively, these studies indicate that ES-62, or more likely small molecule analogues, could have therapeutic potential in asthma, in particular for those subtypes of patients (e.g. smokers, steroid-resistant) who are refractory to current treatments.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · International journal for parasitology