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Immunology - Infectious Diseases - Microbiology - Physiology

Induction of IL-10-Producing CD1dhighCD5+ Regulatory B Cells following Babesia microti-Infection
Published: Friday, October 05, 2012
Author: Young-Il Jeong et al.

by Young-Il Jeong, Sung-Hee Hong, Shin-Hyeong Cho, Won-Ja Lee, Sang-Eun Lee


Understanding the induction of immune regulatory cells upon helminth infection is important for understanding the control of autoimmunity and allergic inflammation in helminth infection. Babesia microti, an intraerythrocytic protozoan of the genus Babesia, is a major cause of the emerging human disease babesiosis, an asymptomatic malaria-like disease. We examined the influence of acute B. microti infection on the development of regulatory B cells together with regulatory T cells.

Principal Findings

Our data demonstrate that B cells stimulated in vitro with B. microti produce interleukin (IL)-10. This cytokine is also secreted by B cells isolated from B. microti-infected mice in response to lipopolysaccharide stimulation. In addition, high levels of IL-10 were detected in the serum of mice after infection with B. microti. The frequency of IL-10-producing CD1dhighCD5+ regulatory B cells (Bregs) and CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ T cells increased during the course of B. microti infection. Furthermore, adoptive transfer of IL-10-producing B cells induced by B. microti infection led to increased susceptibility of recipient mice to infection with B. microti. In contrast, experiments with B cell-deficient (┬ÁMT) mice demonstrated that lack of B cells enhances susceptibility to B. microti infection.


This study is the first demonstration of the expansion of Bregs following infection by an intraerythrocytic protozoan parasite. These data suggest that B. microti infection in mice provides an excellent model for studying Breg-mediated immune responses and begins to elucidate the mechanism by which helminth infection regulates autoimmunity and allergic inflammation.