Mediators of inflammation

Involvement of IL-13 and tissue transglutaminase in liver granuloma and fibrosis after schistosoma japonicum infection.

PMID 25110399


Schistosomiasis, one of the most devastating parasitic diseases, is caused by Schistosoma japonicum (Sj) infection resulting in serious liver fibrosis. Interleukin- (IL-) 13, which is produced by TH2  cells, is a critical profibrotic cytokine found in various organs, including the liver. Tissue transglutaminase (tTG), a group of multifunctional enzymes, serves a central function in the pathogenesis of chronic liver diseases. However, the relationship between IL-13, tTG, and liver fibrosis during Schistosoma infection has not been established. This study investigated the involvement of IL-13 and tTG in liver fibrogenesis during Sj infection in mice. Five weeks after Sj infection, granuloma and fibrosis development in the liver coincided with an increase in IL-13 and tTG in the liver and the upregulation of serum IL-13 in infected mice. Administration of cystamine, an inhibitor of tTG, abrogated the increase in both tTG and IL-13 in infected mice and ameliorated liver fibrogenesis and granuloma development. This result establishes a novel link among IL-13, tTG, and liver granuloma and fibrosis under Sj infection. Based on their important functions in liver fibrosis induced by Sj infection, IL-13 and tTG could be promising potential drug targets against schistosomiasis.