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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 563425, 17 pages
Research Article

Extraintestinal Helminth Infection Limits Pathology and Proinflammatory Cytokine Expression during DSS-Induced Ulcerative Colitis: A Role for Alternatively Activated Macrophages and Prostaglandins

1Unidad de Biomedicina, Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Avenida De Los Barrios 1, Los Reyes Iztacala, 54090 Tlalnepantla, MEX, Mexico
2Department of Pathology, Medical Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43221, USA
3Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 4N1
4Departamento de Inmunología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, UNAM, 04510 Mexico, DF, Mexico

Received 8 August 2014; Revised 14 October 2014; Accepted 20 October 2014

Academic Editor: Abraham Landa

Copyright © 2015 Yadira Ledesma-Soto 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.


Chronic inflammation of the intestinal mucosa is characteristic of inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Helminth parasites have developed immunomodulatory strategies that may impact the outcome of several inflammatory diseases. Therefore, we investigated whether Taenia crassiceps infection is able to decrease the inflammatory effects of dextran sulfate sodium- (DSS-) induced ulcerative colitis in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. Preinfection significantly reduced the manifestations of DSS-induced colitis, as weight loss and shortened colon length, and decreased the disease activity index independently of the genetic background of the mice. Taenia infection decreased systemic levels of proinflammatory cytokines while increasing levels of IL-4 and IL-10, and the inflammatory infiltrate into the colon was also markedly reduced. RT-PCR assays from colon showed that T. crassiceps-infected mice displayed increased expression of Arginase-1 but decreased expression of iNOS compared to DSS-treated uninfected mice. The percentages of T regulatory cells were not increased. The adoptive transfer of alternatively activated macrophages (AAMs) from infected mice into mice with DSS-induced colitis reduced the severity of colon inflammation. Administration of indomethacin abrogated the anticolitic effect of Taenia. Thus, T. crassiceps infection limits the pathology of ulcerative colitis by suppressing inflammatory responses mechanistically associated with AAMs and prostaglandins.