Parasitology Research

, Volume 110, Issue 1, pp 287–293 | Cite as

The effects of interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-4 deficiency on worm development and granuloma formation in Schistosoma japonicum-infected mice

  • Yu-li Cheng
  • Wen-jian Song
  • Wen-qi Liu
  • Jia-hui Lei
  • Zheng Kong
  • Yong-long Li
Original Paper


CD4+ T-helper (Th) cell is widely recognized to be capable of influencing worm development and egg granuloma formation after schistosome infection. Interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-4 play key roles in regulation of Th cell differentiation. In the present study, we subcutaneously inoculated mice with hybridoma cells secreting monoclonal antibodies to neutralize IL-12 and IL-4 and explored the effects of IL-12 and IL-4 deficiency on the worm development and granuloma formation in mice infected with cercariae of Schistosoma japonicum. It was found that deficiency of host IL-12 and IL-4 supported normal parasite survival and fecundity. However, worm development (length and female fecundity) was significantly enhanced in anti-IL-12-treated mice. Mean length of worms in anti-IL-12-treated group was significantly greater than that of intact controls on day 28 after infection (females, 11.84 ± 1.20 mm vs. 9.45 ± 1.34; males, 9.35 ± 1.21 mm vs. 8.10 ± 0.85 mm, p < 0.05). Liver egg load per pair of worms (1,770.12 ± 470.67 vs. 806.08 ± 232.37, p < 0.05) and uterine egg load of ovigerous females (93.08 ± 27.85 vs. 46.05 ± 34.24, p < 0.05) in anti-IL-12-treated mice were significantly higher than those in intact control 28 days postinfection. But these effects diminished 42 days postinfection (p > 0.05). Granuloma size in anti-IL-12-treated mice was significantly larger than that in intact mice 42 days postinfection (398.3 ± 80.7 μm vs. 294.4 ± 72.2 μm, p < 0.05). Granuloma fibrosis dramatically intensified in anti-IL-12-treated mice but diminished in anti-IL-4-treated mice. The results suggest that IL-12 may play an impeditive role in the development of S. japonicum and in granuloma formation as well as fibrosis. IL-4 may promote granuloma formation but have no effect on worm development.


Granuloma Formation Ovigerous Female Female Worm Intact Control Schistosoma Japonicum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the National Natural Foundation of China (project grant number 30771884). The research performed in this study was in compliance with the laws of China and the authors’ respective institutions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yu-li Cheng
    • 1
  • Wen-jian Song
    • 1
  • Wen-qi Liu
    • 2
  • Jia-hui Lei
    • 2
  • Zheng Kong
    • 1
  • Yong-long Li
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pathogenic Biology, School of MedicineJianghan UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Parasitology, Tongji Medical CollegeHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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