The immunomodulator AS101 restores T(H)1 type of response suppressed by Babesia rodhaini in BALB/c mice

Hanna Rosenblatt-Bin*, Yona Kalechman, Ami Vonsover, Ren He Xu, Ji Ping Da, Frances Shalit, Moshe Huberman, Avraham Klein, Gideon Strassmann, Michael Albeck, Benjamin Sredni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The immunomodulator AS101 has been previously shown to confer protection upon BALB/c mice infected with the intraerythrocytic parasite Babesia rodhaini (B. rodhaini). The present study focuses on the effect of AS101 administration on the acute phase of babesial infection where T helper cell subset patterns-T(H)1/T(H)2-were assessed in heavily infected mice. Secretion of cytokines of the T(H)1 subset (IL-2, IFN-γ, IL-12) and of the T(H)2 subset (IL-10, IL-4) as well as TGF-β was measured following the administration of AS101 2 weeks before parasite infection. Our results demonstrate that the parasites suppress IL-2 protein and IL-12 mRNA and that AS101 upregulates their secretion: IL-2, 8 u/ml vs 34 u/ml, respectively; IFN-γ protein, 2370 pg/ml vs 4777 pg/ml, respectively. Conversely, babesial infection results in the upregulation of IL-10 and IL-4 proteins and TGF-β transcripts, whereas AS101 downregulates their production: IL-10, 1800 pg/ml vs 360 pg/ml, respectively; IL-4, 58.3 pg/ml vs 24.5 pg/ml, respectively. A possible escape mechanism induced by B. rodhaini is suggested, starting with IL-10 inhibition of macrophage activities leading to a suppression of the T(H)1 response and of IL-2 in particular. It is therefore possible that AS101 may protect infected mice by activating cellular-mediated immunity and concurrently balancing the T(H) subset responses. It is suggested that AS101 may be effective as an antiparasitic drug.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-25
Number of pages14
JournalCellular Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 25 Feb 1998
Externally publishedYes


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