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Chronic schistosomiasis during pregnancy epigenetically reprograms T cell differentiation in offspring of infected mothers.

Eur. J. Immunol. 47, 841-847 (2017)
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Open Access Green as soon as Postprint is submitted to ZB.
Schistosomiasis is a non-transplacental helminth infection. Chronic infection during pregnancy suppresses allergic airway responses in offspring. We addressed the question whether in utero exposure to chronic schistosome infection (Reg phase) in mice affects B cell and T cell development. Therefore, we focused our analysis on T cell differentiation capacity induced by epigenetic changes in promoter regions of signature cytokines in offspring. Here we show that naïve T cells from offspring of schistosome infected female mice had a strong capacity to differentiate into TH 1 cells, whereas TH 2 differentiation was impaired. In accordance, reduced levels of histone acetylation of the IL-4 promoter regions were observed in naïve T cells. To conclude, our mouse model revealed distinct epigenetic changes within the naïve T cell compartment affecting TH 2 and TH 1 cell differentiation in offspring of mothers with chronic helminth infection. These findings could eventually help understand how helminths alter T cell driven immune responses induced by allergens, bacterial or viral infections, as well as vaccines.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
Keywords Epigenetic Histone Modification ; In Utero Programming ; Maternal Helminth Infection ; Schistosomiasis ; T Cell Differentiation; Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells; Hiv-1 Antigen Presentation; Dc-sign; Innate Immunity; Maturation; Samhd1; Blood; Transmission; Lymphocytes; Activation
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