Suppressive antigen-presenting cells in Helminth infection

A S MacDonald, P Loke, Judith Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Infection with filarial nematodes is commonly associated with a failure of T cells to proliferate in response to parasite antigen. We have investigated the possibility that antigen-presenting cells recruited during filarial infection are responsible for impairment of T cell function. We have found that the human filarial parasite Brugia malayi, when implanted into the peritoneal cavity of mice, recruits a population of adherent cells that actively block the proliferation of T cells. Phenotypic analysis of the recruited cells reveals large numbers of both macrophages and eosinophils and cell sorting experiments demonstrate that these antiproliferative cells are Mac-1-positive. Studies in gene-deficient mice have demonstrated that proliferative suppression is dependent on the in vivo production of IL-4 but not IL-5 or IL-10, while suppression in vitro is not mediated by any known antiproliferative factor. Our results suggest that helminth infection can lead to the development and/or recruitment of an IL-4-dependent macrophage population that mediates suppression via a novel mechanism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-8
Number of pages4
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells
  • Ascitic Fluid
  • Brugia malayi
  • Cell Separation
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Eosinophils
  • Female
  • Filariasis
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Interleukin-4
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Macrophages
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Peritoneal Cavity
  • T-Lymphocytes


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