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Helminth-derived immunomodulators: can understanding the worm produce the pill?

Abstract

Helminths may protect humans against allergic and autoimmune diseases and, indeed, defined helminth-derived products have recently been shown to prevent the development of such inflammatory diseases in mouse models. Here, we propose that helminth-derived products not only have therapeutic potential but can also be used as unique tools for defining key molecular events in the induction of an anti-inflammatory response and, therefore, for defining new therapeutic targets.

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Figure 1: Differential Toll-like receptor 4 signalling by helminth products subverts antigen-presenting cell responses.
Figure 2: Proposed mechanism of subversion of Toll-like receptor 4 signalling in mast cells by ES62.

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Acknowledgements

We thank the American Asthma Foundation, the Arthritis Research Campaign, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust for their support.

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Harnett, W., Harnett, M. Helminth-derived immunomodulators: can understanding the worm produce the pill?. Nat Rev Immunol 10, 278–284 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1038/nri2730

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