Establishment of T‐Helper‐2 immune response based gerbil model of enteric infection
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BACKGROUND: The reciprocal antagonism of T-helper-1 (Th-1) and Th-2 type immune responses suggests that helminth parasitic infection may ameliorate disease where a Th-1 type response dominates. The Mongolian gerbil has been useful in the investigation of the pathogenesis of gastric cancer, since long-term infection of gerbils with Helicobacter pylori induces adenocarcinoma. In this study the kinetics of worm expulsion and associated immune responses in gerbils infected with Trichinella spiralis were investigated in an attempt to establish an animal model of parasitic infection that could be helpful when investigating the effect of a Th-2 type response on Th-1-based intestinal disorders. METHODS: Gerbils were infected with various doses of infective T. spiralis larvae and were euthanized on different days after infection to investigate the intestinal worm recovery, goblet cell population, eosinophil response and serum IgG1 responses. RESULTS: The number of worms recovered from the intestine was dependent on the number of larvae used for the infection. Almost all worms were expelled spontaneously by day 26 post-infection, when the gerbils had been infected with 375 or 750 larvae. The number of intestinal goblet cells, eosinophils and the serum IgG1 level significantly increased following infection compared with the control. CONCLUSION: This is the first comprehensive report on the time-course of T. spiralis infection in gerbils. The data indicate that the T. spiralis-infected gerbil could be used as a model of the Th-2-based response to investigate the effect of a parasite-induced Th-2 response on various Th-1-mediated intestinal disorders such as H. pylori-induced gastritis and gastric carcinoma.
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