The immunomodulatory parasitic worm product ES-62 reduces lupus-associated accelerated atherosclerosis in a mouse model.

Tamar R. Aprahamian, Xuemei Zhong, Shahzada Amir, Christoph J. Binder, Lo-Ku Chiang, Lamyaa Al-Riyami, Raffi Gharakhanian, Margaret M. Harnett, William Harnett, Ian R. Rifkin

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ES-62 is an anti-inflammatory phosphorylcholine-containing glycoprotein secreted by the filarial nematode Acanthocheilonema viteae. Accelerated atherosclerosis frequently occurs in systemic lupus erythematosus, resulting in substantial cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. We examined the effects of ES-62 in the gld.apoE(-/-) mouse model of this condition. Treatment with ES-62 did not substantially modulate renal pathology but caused decreased anti-nuclear autoantibody levels. Moreover, a striking 60% reduction in aortic atherosclerotic lesions was observed, with an associated decrease in macrophages and fibrosis. We believe that these latter findings constitute the first example of a defined parasitic worm product with therapeutic potential in atherosclerosis: ES-62-based drugs may represent a novel approach to control accelerated atherosclerosis in systemic lupus erythematosus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-207
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology
Issue number4
Early online date7 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • atherosclerosis
  • ES-62
  • helminth
  • systemic lupus erythematosus

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