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Projects. Life and Matter Sciences

Study of the possible immunomodulation caused by Anisakis simplex larval antigens

Lead Researcher: 
María del Carmen Cuéllar del Hoyo

Research Centre:
Facultad de Farmacia. Universidad Complutense. Madrid.


The experimental hypothesis of this paper is that the larval products of Anisakis simplex may be immunosuppression mediators, trapped by dendritic cells (DCs) in the mucosa, that produce tolerogenic signals capable of inducing expansion of CD4+ T lymphocyte sub-populations with a regulator function. The aim is to study the effect of A. simplex larval antigens on the role of DCs and CD4+ T lymphocytes and later how the parasite antigens affect the physiology of DCs to initiate a tolerogenic response. As antigens, total larval products and excretion-secretion products of third-stage larvae of A. simplex will be used. Mouse models will be used since the tolerogenic DCs and T reg lymphocyte sub-classes are similar to human ones in phenotype and function.



1 article published in Journals
1 paper at international conferences

María del Carmen Cuéllar del Hoyo.

She has conducted research on parasitic helminths, beginning in the diagnosis of visceral larva migrans and participating in the DGCYT project "Zoonoses by tissue helminths: characterisation of isolates of Trichinella and Toxocara and Trichinella antigens for their application to specific diagnosis and prevention". Later, she jointly supervised the doctoral thesis on "Immunodiagnosis of human toxocariasis". The result of this work was 17 publications in indexed journals and 12 in non-indexed journals. Since 1991 she has been line head on Anisakis simplex at the Department of Parasitology in the UCM. She has conducted studies on the prevalence of anti-Anisakis antibodies in Spain (Project PR295/95-6074) and the doctoral thesis entitled "Anti-Anisakis antibodies in patients diagnosed with digestive disorders". Collaboration with the Central Defence Hospital to study the relationship between sensitisation through A. simplex and the appearance of relapsing acute hives, resulted in a contract with International Pharmaceutical Immunology at A.S.A.C. Pharmaceutical International AIE, and the grant for the CICYT Project "Anisakis simplex: antigen purification and development of new in vivo and in vitro immunodiagnostic techniques", which formed an integral part of another doctoral thesis of the same title. Also the result of this collaboration was the Ph.D. thesis on "The immune response to experimental murine anisakiosis. Human sensitisation tests". She also collaborates with the La Princesa Hospital to study the immunological factors involved in gastroallergic anisakiosis and with the University of Santiago de Compostela.

As a result of this work on Anisakis, 34 papers were published in indexed journals and 5 in non-indexed journals. She has also demonstrated the allergenicity of one of the most common fish parasites, the cestode Gymnorhynchus gigas, and the Myxosporidia fish parasite of the genus Kudoa, a topic that has produced a doctoral thesis (Evaluation of humoral immune responses induced by Kudoa sp. antigens) and 12 papers in indexed journals. She has also been the Principal Investigator on projects funded by the INIA, Danone and BSCH. Other collaborations with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the UCM, ASAC Pharmaceutical International AIE and the Faculty of Medicine at the UCM have resulted in 5 papers in indexed journals and 3 in non-indexed journals.

She participated at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York NY on a project to study the immunomodulatory effect of the Ac-TIMP molecule of Ancylostoma caninum, a paper that was later published, and the study of the use of TLR-agonists as vaccine immunomodulators against Leishmaniasis with the subsequent grant by the Mutua Madrileña Research Foundation for a project of which she is the Principal Investigator. All this scientific production has allowed her to complete 3 research assessment periods (six-year terms) and she already has 15 publications in indexed journals for the fourth period. This research activity has necessarily shared time with her teaching commitments. From 1985 to 1991 she taught Parasitology at the San Pablo CEU University College, before joining the Department of Parasitology at the UCM where she held a position as senior lecturer from 1991 to 2002, the year in which she joined the ranks of senior university lecturers, her current rank, although she was accredited in 2009 for the Corps of University Professors in the area of Health Sciences.

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