Heligmosomoides polygyrus elicits a dominant nonprotective antibody response directed against restricted glycan and peptide epitopes.


Heligmosomoides polygyrus is a widely used gastrointestinal helminth model of long-term chronic infection in mice, which has not been well-characterized at the antigenic level. We now identify the major targets of the murine primary Ab response as a subset of the secreted products in H. polygyrus excretory-secretory (HES) Ag. An immunodominant epitope is an O-linked glycan (named glycan A) carried on three highly expressed HES glycoproteins (venom allergen Ancylostoma-secreted protein-like [VAL]-1, -2, and -5), which stimulates only IgM Abs, is exposed on the adult worm surface, and is poorly represented in somatic parasite extracts. A second carbohydrate epitope (glycan B), present on both a non-protein high molecular mass component and a 65-kDa molecule, is widely distributed in adult somatic tissues. Whereas the high molecular mass component and 65-kDa molecules bear phosphorylcholine, the glycan B epitope itself is not phosphorylcholine. Class-switched IgG1 Abs are found to glycan B, but the dominant primary IgG1 response is to the polypeptides of VAL proteins, including also VAL-3 and VAL-4. Secondary Ab responses include the same specificities while also recognizing VAL-7. Although vaccination with HES conferred complete protection against challenge H. polygyrus infection, mAbs raised against each of the glycan epitopes and against VAL-1, VAL-2, and VAL-4 proteins were unable to do so, even though these specificities (with the exception of VAL-2) are also secreted by tissue-phase L4 larvae. The primary immune response in susceptible mice is, therefore, dominated by nonprotective Abs against a small subset of antigenic epitopes, raising the possibility that these act as decoy specificities that generate ineffective humoral immunity.

DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1004140

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@article{Hewitson2011HeligmosomoidesPE, title={Heligmosomoides polygyrus elicits a dominant nonprotective antibody response directed against restricted glycan and peptide epitopes.}, author={James Philip Hewitson and Kara J. Filbey and John R Grainger and Adam A. Dowle and Mark Pearson and J Pedro Fern{\'a}ndez Murray and Yvonne M Harcus and Rick M. Maizels}, journal={Journal of immunology}, year={2011}, volume={187 9}, pages={4764-77} }