Chronic schistosomiasis during pregnancy epigenetically reprograms T-cell differentiation in offspring of infected mothers

Kathrin Klar, Sophie Perchermeier, Sonakshi Bhattacharjee, Hani Harb, Thure Adler, Rouzanna Istvanffy, Eva Loffredo-Verde, Robert R. A. Oostendorp, Harald Renz, Clarissa Prazeres da Costa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Schistosomiasis is a nontransplacental helminth infection. Chronic infection during pregnancy suppresses allergic airway responses in offspring. We addressed the question whether in utero exposure to chronic schistosome infection (Reg phase) in mice affects B-cell and T-cell development. Therefore, we focused our analyses on T-cell differentiation capacity induced by epigenetic changes in promoter regions of signature cytokines in offspring. Here, we show that naïve T cells from offspring of schistosome infected female mice had a strong capacity to differentiate into TH1 cells, whereas TH2 differentiation was impaired. In accordance, reduced levels of histone acetylation of the IL-4 promoter regions were observed in naïve T cells. To conclude, our mouse model revealed distinct epigenetic changes within the naïve T-cell compartment affecting TH2 and TH1 cell differentiation in offspring of mothers with chronic helminth infection. These findings could eventually help understand how helminths alter T-cell driven immune responses induced by allergens, bacterial or viral infections, as well as vaccines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841-847
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Volume47
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Epigenetic histone modification
  • In utero programming
  • Maternal helminth infection
  • Schistosomiasis
  • T-cell differentiation

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