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IL-6 controls susceptibility to helminth infection by impeding Th2 responsiveness and altering the Treg phenotype in vivo

Smith, Katherine A. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8150-5702 and Maizels, Rick M. 2014. IL-6 controls susceptibility to helminth infection by impeding Th2 responsiveness and altering the Treg phenotype in vivo. European Journal of Immunology 44 (1) , pp. 150-161. 10.1002/eji.201343746

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Abstract

IL-6 plays a pivotal role in favoring T-cell commitment toward a Th17 cell rather than Treg-cell phenotype, as established through in vitro model systems. We predicted that in the absence of IL-6, mice infected with the gastrointestinal helminth Heligmosomoides polygyrus would show reduced Th17-cell responses, but also enhanced Treg-cell activity and consequently greater susceptibility. Surprisingly, worm expulsion was markedly potentiated in IL-6-deficient mice, with significantly stronger adaptive Th2 responses in both IL-6−/− mice and BALB/c recipients of neutralizing anti-IL-6 monoclonal Ab. Although IL-6-deficient mice showed lower steady-state Th17-cell levels, IL-6-independent Th17-cell responses occurred during in vivo infection. We excluded the Th17 response as a factor in protection, as Ab neutralization did not modify immunity to H. polygyrus infection in BALB/c mice. Resistance did correlate with significant changes to the associated Treg-cell phenotype however, as IL-6-deficient mice displayed reduced expression of Foxp3, Helios, and GATA-3, and enhanced production of cytokines within the Treg-cell population. Administration of an anti-IL-2:IL-2 complex boosted Treg-cell proportions in vivo, reduced adaptive Th2 responses to WT levels, and fully restored susceptibility to H. polygyrus in IL-6-deficient mice. Thus, in vivo, IL-6 limits the Th2 response, modifies the Treg-cell phenotype, and promotes host susceptibility following helminth infection.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR180 Immunology
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0014-2980
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 May 2016
Date of Acceptance: 1 October 2013
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2022 10:22
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/91192

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