Basophils play a key role in the development and effector phases of type 2 immune responses in both allergic diseases and helminth infections. This study shows that basophils become less responsive to IgE-mediated stimulation when mice are chronically infected with Litomosoides sigmodontis, a filarial nematode, and Schistosoma mansoni, a blood fluke. Although excretory/secretory products from microfilariae of L. sigmodontis suppressed basophils in vitro, transfer of microfilariae into mice did not result in basophil suppression. Rather, reduced basophil responsiveness, which required the presence of live helminths, was found to be dependent on host IL-10 and was accompanied by decreases in key IgE signaling molecules known to be downregulated by IL-10. Given the importance of basophils in the development of type 2 immune responses, these findings help explain the mechanism by which helminths protect against allergy and may have broad implications for understanding how helminth infections alter other disease states in people.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy