Seminars in Immunopathology

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 29–38 | Cite as

IL-9 and Th9 in parasite immunity

  • P. Licona-Limón
  • A. Arias-Rojas
  • E. Olguín-Martínez


Interleukin-9 is a cytokine classically related to type 2 immune responses whose cellular identity has been recently reevaluated to identify a new specialized T helper subset called Th9 and an innate source referred as innate lymphoid cell type 2. Over the past years, IL-9 has been associated with allergic responses, tumor immunology, and autoimmunity; however, in this review, we will specifically focus on the role of IL-9 and Th9 cells in the context of parasitic infections. We will summarize and discuss all the evidence relating IL-9 expression and function in parasitic infections with a particular emphasis in helminth infections, an important health issue in developing countries; we will also provide a general description and classification of parasites, the immune response and cellular compartments activated in this context, and its implications and future directions towards a complete understanding of this interesting new T helper subset and its potential therapeutic use.


Parasite Helminth IL-9 Worm 



Dendritic cell


Innate lymphoid cell


Mast cell


Mucosal mast cell protease-1


Neglected tropical diseases


Soil-transmitted helminths


T helper 9


Thymic stromal lymphopoietin



We apologize to the researchers whose work could not be cited due to space limitations. This work was supported by the following grants to PLL from CONACYT (CB-2015-01-255287, S008-2015-2-261227) and DGAPA (IA202116-PAPIIT).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Licona-Limón
    • 1
  • A. Arias-Rojas
    • 1
  • E. Olguín-Martínez
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Biología Celular y del Desarrollo. Instituto de Fisiología CelularUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMéxico CityMexico

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