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Immune modulation of Th1, Th2, and T-reg transcriptional factors differing from cytokine levels in Schistosoma japonicum infection

Farwa, Amel, He, Chao, Xia, Longfei, Zhou, Hong
Parasitology research 2018 v.117 no.1 pp. 115-126
GATA transcription factors, Schistosoma japonicum, T-lymphocytes, disease control, disease severity, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, gene expression, immune response, immunomodulation, immunopathology, interferon-gamma, interleukin-10, interleukin-4, messenger RNA, monitoring, praziquantel, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, rabbits, transcription (genetics), transforming growth factor beta 1, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, vaccination, China
In spite of long-term integrated control programs for Schistosoma japonicum infection in China, the infection is still persistent due to its zoonotic transmission and disease severity which further complicate its control. Th1, Th2, and T-reg cells are involved in S. japonicum immunity; however, their exact roles in immunopathology of this infection are still questionable. Therefore, the monitoring of these T cell subsets’ immune responses during a primary infection of S. japonicum at both transcriptional (mRNA) and protein (cytokines) levels would be essential to point out. In experimentally infected white New Zealand rabbits, mRNA expression levels of TBX2, IRF8, GATA3, STAT6, FoxP3, and MAFF were evaluated using qPCR, whereas Th1 (IFN-γ and TNF-α), Th2 (IL4 and IL13), and T-reg (IL10 and TGF-β1) cytokines were measured by ELISA test. Those parameters were estimated at two phases: the first being 4 and 8 weeks post-infection and the second phase at 12 weeks post-infection. The infected rabbits were categorized into group1 which was treated with praziquantel after the 8th week of infection and group 2 which was left untreated. In the first stage of infection, Th1 was superior to the other types at both mRNA (TBX2 and IRF8) and protein (IFN-γ and TNF-α) levels, but at the late stage, Th2 cytokines (IL4 and IL13) were surprisingly dominated without comparable change in Th2 transcriptional level in group 1. Concisely, the evaluation of T cell transcriptional factors provided clearer evidence about T cellular roles which would be a valuable supplement to control this disease in terms of protective and therapeutic vaccinations.