Immunological events during the early phase of infection with Schistosoma mansoni in mice

S. Grelli, C. Matteucci, D. Cioli, L. H. El Saved, N. Adam, H. Ghoneim, E. De Smaele, C. Favalli, E. Garaci, A. Mastino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Naturally occurring infection in humans or experimental infection in mice by Schistosoma mansoni lead to a Th1 towards Th2 switch of cytokine response in the chronic late phase of the disease. It has been proposed that an initial Th1 response is successively down-regulated and followed by an egg-antigen driven Th2 response. Here we report the results of a kinetic study on the capacity of spleen cells from experimentally infected Balb/c mice to produce Th1 or Th2 cytokines, following mitogen stimulation, during the phase which precedes the granulomatous response associated to egg- deposition. The main results were identified as an early increase in IL-4 and IL-10 Th2 cytokine production, particularly pronounced for IL-10, only a slight and delayed decrease in IL-2 production and an invariable or actually enhanced capacity to produce IFN-γ. The emergence of Th2 response was associated with only slight and delayed modifications in spleen lymphocyte subsets, mainly represented by a decrease in CD3+ T cells and an increase in B cells. The initial unbalance of the Th1/Th2 response precedes thus the egg- deposition and the chronic phase of the infection, being evident 3 weeks after the challenge with the parasite. This observation could represent a novel finding useful in understanding the complex mechanisms involved in the immunopathogenesis of schistosomiasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-211
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Interleukins
  • Schistosomiasis
  • T cells
  • Th1/Th2 response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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