Helminths secrete several molecules that can modulate the immune responses, favoring their evasion and perpetuate their survival in the host. These molecules interfere with antigen presentation, cell proliferation and activation, antibody production, cause cell death, and stimulate regulatory responses. Here, we focus on some helminth products and address their immunomodulatory effects in the host immune system and, also, we describe some anti-inflammatory properties of an Ascaris suum-derived immunomodulatory molecule, named PAS-1. This protein is a 200-kDa molecule isolated by affinity chromatography using MAIP-1 (monoclonal antibody which recognizes PAS-1), coupled to Sepharose 4B. It suppresses the inflammatory responses in murine models of delayed-type hypersensitivity, lung allergic inflammation and LPS-induced inflammation into air pouches. PAS-1 also stimulates the secretion of regulatory cytokines such as IL-10 and TGF-β and primes IFN-γ-secreting CD8+ and IL-10/ TGF-β-secreting CD4+CD25+ cell clones that avoid the lung inflammation. Thus, this protein is a potent immunomodulatory component that may be used for therapeutic interventions in inflammatory diseases.
Keywords: Helminth products, immunomodulation, inflammation, antigen presentation, T cell response, cytokine production, regulatory responses
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