Volume 61, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The parasitic helminth Onchocerca volvulus causes ocular onchocerciasis (river blindness) and onchocercal skin disease. To understand the immunologic basis for early stage skin disease, we developed a model in which C57B1/6 mice were immunized subcutaneously and injected intradermally (in the ear) with soluble O. volvulus antigens (OvAg). We found that ear thickness increased significantly after intradermal injection of OvAg and remained elevated for at least 7 days. Dermatitis was dependent on prior immunization, and was associated with an intense cellular infiltrate in the dermis. Neutrophils were the predominant inflammatory cells in the dermis 12 hr after intradermal injection, with only occasional eosinophils present. Conversely, increased ear thickness at later time points was associated with eosinophils, and neutrophils were only rarely detected. Both cell types were present at intermediate time points. These data indicate that recruitment of neutrophils and eosinophils to the skin is temporally regulated.


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