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Alternatively activated macrophages in helminth infection: a paradigm for Th2 immunity

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Prof. Jim Kaufman.

Host: Anne Cooke (

The Allen laboratory has a particular interest in Th2-type immunity and focuses primarily on infection with helminths. The role of the Th2 immune response in clearing helminths from the gastro-intestinal tract is clear, but its role in the tissues is less certain. Our analysis of macrophages activated by Th2 cytokines during tissue nematode infection revealed that the most abundant proteins produced and secreted by these cells are associated with injury and repair. This suggests that a primary function of the Th2 response may be to repair damage mediated by large extracellular parasites. We hypothesize that Th2 cells evolved as the arm of the adaptive immune system that controls innate wound healing responses. These studies have implications for diseases beyond helminth infection, where the wound healing response is dysregulated, such as asthma, fibrosis and cancer.

Website: Funding: MRC , EU, Asthma UK

Some recent publications:

P Loke,  I  Gallagher, MG Nair, XX Zang, F Brombacher, M Mohrs, JP Allison & JE Allen. 2007.  Alternative Activation is an Innate Response to Injury that Requires CD4+ T-cells to be Sustained During Chronic Infection. Journal of Immunology. 179:3926-36.

A Diaz & JEAllen. 2007. Mapping immune response profiles: the emerging scenario from helminth immunology. European Journal of Immunology. 37: 3319-3326

KJ Mylonas, MG Nair, L Prieto-Lafuente, D Paape, JE Allen. 2009 Alternatively activated macrophages elicited by helminth infection can be reprogrammed to enable microbial killing. Journal of Immunology. 182:3084-94.

T Sutherland, RM Maizels & JE Allen. 2009. Chitinases in allergic Inflammation. Clincal & Experimental Allergy. Epub ahead of print.

This talk is part of the Immunology in Pathology series.

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