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Type 2 immunity and wound healing: evolutionary refinement of adaptive immunity by helminths

Abstract

Helminth-induced type 2 immune responses, which are characterized by the T helper 2 cell-associated cytokines interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-13, mediate host protection through enhanced tissue repair, the control of inflammation and worm expulsion. In this Opinion article, we consider type 2 immunity in the context of helminth-mediated tissue damage. We examine the relationship between the control of helminth infection and the mechanisms of wound repair, and we provide a new understanding of the adaptive type 2 immune response and its contribution to both host tolerance and resistance.

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Figure 1: The type 2 immune response promotes tissue repair and immunity against helminths.
Figure 2: The role of the immune system in homeostasis.
Figure 3: Helminth infections as a selective force for evolution of the type 2 immune response.

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank F. Finkelman at the Division of Allergy and Immunology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, USA, for providing excellent critical comments that strengthened this manuscript. This work was partly supported by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants R01AI031678 and R01AI066188 awarded to W.C.G., and T.A.W. is supported by the Intramural Research Program from the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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Correspondence to William C. Gause.

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T.A.W. holds patents on the treatment of fibrosis by blocking interleukin-13 (IL-13) and IL-21.

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Gause, W., Wynn, T. & Allen, J. Type 2 immunity and wound healing: evolutionary refinement of adaptive immunity by helminths. Nat Rev Immunol 13, 607–614 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/nri3476

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