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Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.01677

The Mannose Receptor in Regulation of Helminth-mediated Host Immunity

  • 1Molecular Celbiology and Immunology, VU University Medical Center, Netherlands
  • 2Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, United States

Infection with parasitic helminths affects humanity and animal welfare. Parasitic helminths have the capacity to modulate host immune responses to promote their survival in infected hosts, often for a long time leading to chronic infections. In contrast to many infectious microbes however, the helminths are able to induce immune responses that show positive bystander effects such as the protection to several immune disorders, including multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and allergies. They generally promote the generation of a tolerogenic immune microenvironment including the induction of type 2 (Th2) responses and a sub-population of alternatively activated macrophages (AAMs). It is proposed that this anti-inflammatory response enables helminths to survive in their hosts, and protects the host from excessive pathology arising from infection with these large pathogens.
In any case there is an urgent need to enhance understanding of how helminths beneficially modulate inflammatory reactions, to identify the molecules involved and to promote approaches to exploit this knowledge for future therapeutic interventions. Evidence is increasing that C-type lectins play an important role in driving helminth-mediated immune responses. C-type lectins belong to a large family of calcium-dependent receptors with broad glycan-specificity. They are abundantly present on immune cells such as dendritic cells and macrophages, which are essential in shaping host immune responses. Here we will focus on the role of the C-type lectin Macrophage Mannose Receptor (MR) in helminth-host interactions, which is a critically understudied area in the field of helminth immunobiology. We give an overview of the structural aspects of the MR including its glycan-specificity, and the functional implications of the MR in helminth-host interactions focusing on a few selected helminth species.

Keywords: C-type lectin, Mannose receptor, helminth, Schistosoma, Trichuris, Immune Regulation

Received: 14 Sep 2017; Accepted: 15 Nov 2017.

Edited by:

Yoann Rombouts, UMR5089 Institut de Pharmacologie et de Biologie Structurale (IPBS), France

Reviewed by:

Alan L. Scott, Johns Hopkins University, United States
Keke C. Fairfax, Purdue University, United States  

Copyright: © 2017 Van Die and Cummings. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Irma Van Die, VU University Medical Center, Molecular Celbiology and Immunology, De Boelelaan 1108, Amsterdam, 1081HZ, Netherlands,