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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 384523, 7 pages
Research Article

Infection with Hymenolepis diminuta Is More Effective than Daily Corticosteroids in Blocking Chemically Induced Colitis in Mice

Gastrointestinal Research Group, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Calvin, Phoebe & Joan Snyder Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 4N1

Received 24 July 2009; Accepted 16 September 2009

Academic Editor: Luis I. Terrazas

Copyright © 2010 Alexandra Melon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. To compare infection with the tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta, with steroid (dexamethasone) administration in the inhibition of dinitrobenzene sulfonic acid- (DNBS-) induced colitis in mice. Procedures. Mice were treated with DNBS ± infected with H. diminuta or treated with daily dexamethasone (2 mg/Kg, ip.) and were assessed 72 hours post-DNBS by the calculation of disease activity and histological damage scores, and spleen cell cytokine production. Results. H. diminuta-infected mice showed increased IL-4 and IL-10 production by spleen cells compared to other groups and were protected from DNBS-induced colitis. In contrast, there was little benefit of dexamethasone in the treatment of colitis. Collagen deposition in the colon was not different between the groups. Conclusions. H. diminuta was superior to dexamethasone in the prevention of DNBS-induced colitis and did not result in additional side effects (i.e., collagen deposition). Comparisons with current therapeutics and long-term followup to studies are essential if “helminth therapy” is to become a viable treatment for specific inflammatory diseases in the gut or other tissues.