A cloned major Schistosoma mansoni egg antigen with homologies to small heat shock proteins elicits Th1 responsiveness

Yinlong Cai, Jane G. Langley, David I. Smith, Dov L. Boros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


In schistosomiasis mansoni, soluble egg antigens of the worm induce chronic T-cell-mediated granulomatous tissue responses. Since the first preparation of crude soluble egg antigen extract, a dearth of highly purified antigens has hampered the identification of granuloma inducer molecules. Here we report that a cloned 38-kDa egg polypeptide (r38) with homologies to small heat shock proteins is a strong immunogen. The recombinant and the sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis separated and eluted native 38-kDa (p38) polypeptides, used in microgram amounts and unaided by adjuvant, sensitized mice for a Th1-type immune response, with strong interleukin-2 (IL-2) and gamma interferon secretion but no IL-4 and IL-10 secretion. Extensive cross-reactivity between these two polypeptides was evident. This pattern was confirmed by reverse transcription-PCR that showed strong IL-2 and gamma interferon message expression but trace amounts of IL- 4 message expression in r38-sensitized splenocytes. In mice, the polypeptide induced pulmonary mononuclear granuloma formation around antigen-coupled beads or worm eggs. We propose that the superior immunogenicity of r38 is linked to its relatedness to small heat shock proteins and that the 38-kDa polypeptide may induce the Th1 cytokine responses observed during the early development phase of the egg-induced granuloma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1750-1755
Number of pages6
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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