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Short-term intestinal parasite infection triggers specific cytokines that can prevent the development of type 1 diabetes

Date:
July 19, 2012
Source:
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)
Summary:
Short-term infection with intestinal worms may provide long-term protection against type I diabetes (TID), suggests a new study. The incidence of TID is relatively low in developing countries. One explanation for this phenomenon is the prevalence of chronic intestinal worm infections, which dampen the self-aggressive T cells that cause diabetes and other autoimmune diseases.

Short-term infection with intestinal worms may provide long-term protection against type I diabetes (TID), suggests a study conducted by William Gause, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School. The research has been published in the journal Mucosal Immunology.

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The incidence of TID -- a form of the disease in which the body's own immune cells attack the insulin-producing islet cells of the pancreas -- is relatively low in developing countries. One explanation for this phenomenon is the prevalence of chronic intestinal worm infections, which dampen the self-aggressive T cells that cause diabetes and other autoimmune diseases. Understanding how T cells are tamed during worm infection could lead to new strategies to control these inflammatory diseases.

Dr. Gause's team, including Pankaj Mishra, PhD, in his laboratory, and David Bleich, MD, now shows that a two-week infection with the intestinal worm H. polygyrus (cured using oral drugs) prompted T cells to produce the cytokines interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-10, which acted independently to provide lasting protection against TID in mice. A similar approach using eggs from another parasitic worm, Trichuris suis, is currently being tested in clinical trials in patients with Crohn's disease and multiple sclerosis. The studies presented in this paper now provide potential mechanisms explaining the potency of parasite-induced control of inflammatory diseases.

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is New Jersey's only health sciences university with more than 6,000 students on five campuses attending three medical schools, the State's only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and New Jersey's only school of public health. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, which provides a continuum of healthcare services with multiple locations throughout the State.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P K Mishra, N Patel, W Wu, D Bleich, W C Gause. Prevention of type 1 diabetes through infection with an intestinal nematode parasite requires IL-10 in the absence of a Th2-type response. Mucosal Immunology, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/mi.2012.71

Cite This Page:

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). "Short-term intestinal parasite infection triggers specific cytokines that can prevent the development of type 1 diabetes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120719103244.htm>.
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). (2012, July 19). Short-term intestinal parasite infection triggers specific cytokines that can prevent the development of type 1 diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120719103244.htm
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). "Short-term intestinal parasite infection triggers specific cytokines that can prevent the development of type 1 diabetes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120719103244.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

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