Interleukin (IL)-33 is dispensable for Schistosoma mansoni worm maturation and the maintenance of egg-induced pathology in intestines of infected mice
Background: Schistosomes are trematode worms that dwell in their definitive host’s blood vessels, where females lay eggs that need to be discharged into the environment with host excreta to maintain their life-cycle. Both worms and eggs require type 2 immunity for their maturation and excretion, respectively. However, the immune molecules that orchestrate such immunity remain unclear. Interleukin (IL)-33 is one of the epithelium-derived cytokines that induce type 2 immunity in tissues. The aim of this study was to determine the role of IL-33 in the maturation, reproduction and excretion of Schistosoma mansoni eggs, and in the maintenance of egg-induced pathology in the intestines of mice. Methods: The morphology of S. mansoni worms and the number of eggs in intestinal tissues were studied at different time points post-infection in S. mansoni-infected IL-33-deficient (IL-33−/−) and wild-type (WT) mice. IL-5 and IL-13 production in the spleens and mesenteric lymph nodes were measured. Tissue histology was performed on the terminal ilea of both infected and non-infected mice. Results: Worms from IL-33−/− and WT mice did not differ morphologically at 4 and 6 weeks post-infection (wpi). The number of eggs in intestinal tissues of IL-33−/− and WT mice differed only slightly. At 6 wpi, IL-33−/− mice presented impaired type 2 immunity in the intestines, characterized by a decreased production of IL-5 and IL-13 in mesenteric lymph nodes and fewer inflammatory infiltrates with fewer eosinophils in the ilea. There was no difference between IL-33−/− and WT mice in the levels of IL-25 and thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) in intestinal tissues. Conclusions: Despite its ability to initiate type 2 immunity in tissues, IL-33 alone seems dispensable for S. mansoni maturation and its absence may not affect much the accumulation of eggs in intestinal tissues. The transient impairment of type 2 immunity observed in the intestines, but not spleens, highlights the importance of IL-33 over IL-25 and TSLP in initiating, but not maintaining, locally-induced type 2 immunity in intestinal tissues during schistosome infection. Further studies are needed to decipher the role of each of these molecules in schistosomiasis and clarify the possible interactions that might exist between them.
identifier:Parasites and Vectors, 14(1), art.no.70; 2021
- Parasites & Vectors
Parasites & Vectors 14 (1), 70-, 2021-01-22
BioMed Central Ltd