Helminths and Peritoneal B Cells Reduce Colitis

Heligmosomoides polygyrus bakeri. This murine intestinal parasite induces colon regulatory T cells.
This week reveals two interesting inflammatory bowel disease-related studies published in the Journal of Immunology. One shows how parasites can induce potent colon regulatory T cells, and the other describes the importance of peritoneal B cells in regulating inflamed intestines. For both articles, interleukin-10 plays a critical role.

Helminth Infections Induce Colon Protective Regulatory T Cells

Helminths have the ability to reduce harmful inflammation, and they are now being tested as therapeutic agents for inflammatory bowel disease in clinical trials. Using a helminth found in mice, Heligmosomoides polygyrus bakeri, scientists from Tufts attempted to learn how these parasites performed their function in the intestines. They found that the helminths increased the number of Foxp3+ regulatory T cells in the colons of host mice and increased their expression of interleukin-10 (IL-10). These regulatory T cells were capable of preventing experimental colitis in an IL-10 dependent manner.

IL-10 Expressing B Cells in the Peritoneal Cavity Modulate Colitis

B cells come in many types and are present at many locations of the body. Within the main abdominal cavity, called the peritoneal cavity, many types of B cells are found, including IL-10 producing ones called B10 cells. Scientists from Duke found that these B cells also play an important role in colitis by lowering the severity of the inflammation. The production of IL-10 by these B cells significantly reduced disease severity in spontaneous and induced models of colitis by regulating neutrophil infiltration, Th1 cells, and proinflammatory cytokine production.

Do you think that interleukin-10 is the über-cytokine needed to control inflammatory bowel disease? Let us know in the comments below!


Hang L, Blum AM, Setiawan T, Urban JP Jr, Stoyanoff KM, Weinstock JV. Heligmosomoides polygyrus bakeri Infection Activates Colonic Foxp3+ T Cells Enhancing Their Capacity To Prevent Colitis. J Immunol. 2013 Aug 15;191(4):1927-34. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1201457. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

Maseda D, Candando KM, Smith SH, Kalampokis I, Weaver CT, Plevy SE, Poe JC, Tedder TF. Peritoneal Cavity Regulatory B Cells (B10 Cells) Modulate IFN-γ+CD4+ T Cell Numbers during Colitis Development in Mice. J Immunol. 2013 Aug 5. [Epub ahead of print]

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