A proteinase inhibitor, taeniaestatin, isolated from the larval stage of the cestode Taenia taeniaeformis inhibits endogenous IL 2 generation in murine lymphocytes and IL 1 induced proliferation of murine thymocytes in a dose-dependent manner. However, taeniaestatin does not inhibit exogenous IL 2-induced proliferation of an IL 2-dependent cell line at any dose tested. These data indicate that the lack of IL 2 generation may be due in part to inhibition of a crucial cell-associated proteinase subsequent to cellular activation, or the lack of an effective IL 2 signal for differentiation. Our results are novel findings concerning molecular pathways for parasite inhibition of host immune responses, and suggest that selected proteinase inhibitors may be useful in clinical situations in which IL 1 or IL 2 are elevated.

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