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Int Immunopharmacol. 2021 May 13;96:107756. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2021.107756. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: An increasing body of studies has shown that Fasciola hepatica can affect immune responses. This study explored whether the fatty acid-binding protein (FABP) of F. hepatica can modulate the immune system in a mouse model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE).
METHODS: EAE-induced C57BL/6 mice were treated with vehicle, F. hepatica total extract (TE) or FABP. The clinical signs, body weights, and the expression of IFN-γ, T-bet, IL-4, GATA3, IL-17, RORγ, TGF-β, FOXP3, IL-10, TNF-α genes and proteins were determined in the isolated CD4+ splenocytes. Besides, the percentage of Treg cells and degree of demyelination were evaluated.
RESULTS: We found that TE and FABP treatments decreased the clinical scores, lymphocyte infiltration rate, and demyelinated plaques in EAE mice. The expressions of IL-4 and GATA3 were increased, whereas IL-17 and TNF-α were down-regulated. FABP did not affect the expression of IFN-γ, RORγ, IL-10, and TGF-β genes or proteins but reduced the expression of T-bet. TE administration did not affect the expression of IL-10 and the Tbet genes, and increased the expression levels of IFN-γ and FOXP3 in CD4+ lymphocytes. Both FABP and TE treatment did not affect the Treg cell percentage.
CONCLUSION: This study indicates that F. hepatica FABP and TE can suppress the inflammatory responses in EAE-induced mice and shift the immune system toward Th2 responses. However, FABP exerts stronger anti-inflammatory effects and seems to be more effective than TE for EAE treatment.