Neutrophils clear bacteria associated with parasitic nematodes augmenting the development of an effective Th2-type response

John T. Pesce, Zhugong Liu, Hossein Hamed, Farhang Alem, Jeanette Whitmire, Hongxia Lin, Qian Liu, Joseph F. Urban, William C. Gause

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Infection with the parasitic nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis induces a potent Th2 response; however, little is known about early stages of the innate response that may contribute to protective immunity. To examine early events in this response, chemokine expression in the draining lymph node was examined after N. brasiliensis inoculation. Pronounced increases of several chemokines, including CCL2, were observed. Compared with wild-type mice, elevations in a Gr-1bright population in the draining lymph node was significantly decreased in CCL2-/- mice after N. brasiliensis inoculation. Further flow cytometric and immunofluorescent analysis showed that in wild-type mice, Gr-1+ cells transiently entered and exited the draining lymph node shortly after N. brasiliensis inoculation. The Gr-1bright population was comprised of neutrophils expressing TGF-β and TNF-α. Following Gr-1+ cell depletion, N. brasiliensis infection resulted in transient, but significantly increased levels of IFN-γ, increased serum IgG2a, reduced Th2 cytokines and serum IgE, greatly increased mortality, and delayed worm expulsion. Furthermore, bacteria were readily detected in vital organs. Infection of Gr-1+ cell-depleted mice with N. brasiliensis larvae that were pretreated with antibiotics prevented bacterial dissemination, Th1 inflammatory responses, and decreases in host survival. This study indicates that parasitic nematodes can be an important vector of potentially harmful bacteria, which is typically controlled by CCL2-dependent neutrophils that ensure the optimal development of Th2 immune responses and parasite resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)464-474
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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