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Open AccessArticle

An Immunosuppressant Peptide from the Hard Tick Amblyomma variegatum

Clinical Laboratory, People’s Hospital of Rizhao, 126th Taian Road, Rizhao 276826, Shandong, China
College of Life Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Weigang #1, Nanjing 210095, Jiangsu, China
Yunnan Clinical Research Center of Breast Cancer, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical College, Kunming 650032, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Jean-Marc Sabatier and Irina Vetter
Toxins 2016, 8(5), 133;
Received: 1 February 2016 / Revised: 23 April 2016 / Accepted: 26 April 2016 / Published: 3 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod Venoms)
Ixodid ticks are well known for spreading transmitted tick-borne pathogens while being attached to their hosts for almost 1–2 weeks to obtain blood meals. Thus, they must secrete many immunosuppressant factors to combat the hosts’ immune system. In the present work, we investigated an immunosuppressant peptide of the hard tick Amblyomma variegatum. This peptide, named amregulin, is composed of 40 residues with an amino acid sequence of HLHMHGNGATQVFKPRLVLKCPNAAQLIQPGKLQRQLLLQ. A cDNA of the precursor peptide was obtained from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI, Bethesda, MD, USA). In rat splenocytes, amregulin exerts significant anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting the secretion of inflammatory factors in vitro, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-8 (IL-8) and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ). In rat splenocytes, treated with amregulin, compared to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) alone, the inhibition of the above inflammatory factors was significant at all tested concentrations (2, 4 and 8 µg/mL). Amregulin shows strong free radical scavenging and antioxidant activities (5, 10 and 20 µg/mL) in vitro. Amregulin also significantly inhibits adjuvant-induced paw inflammation in mouse models in vivo. This peptide may facilitate the ticks’ successful blood feeding and may lead to host immunotolerance of the tick. These findings have important implications for the understanding of tick-host interactions and the co-evolution between ticks and the viruses that they bear. View Full-Text
Keywords: hard tick; blood sucking; salivary glands; immunosuppressant peptide; Amblyomma variegatum hard tick; blood sucking; salivary glands; immunosuppressant peptide; Amblyomma variegatum
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tian, Y.; Chen, W.; Mo, G.; Chen, R.; Fang, M.; Yedid, G.; Yan, X. An Immunosuppressant Peptide from the Hard Tick Amblyomma variegatum. Toxins 2016, 8, 133.

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