A homologue of cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) from complementary DNA (cDNA) of Trichinella spiralis and Trichinella pseudospiralis was expressed in Escherichia coli and characterized. The sequence analysis indicated that the predicted amino acid sequence has an identity of 57 and 44% with the MIF of nematodes Trichuris trichiura and Brugia malayi, respectively, and 41 and 40% with that of a human and a mouse, respectively. The identity in sequences of cDNA and amino acids between T. spiralis and T. pseudospiralis was 91 and 86%, respectively. Western blot analysis showed that anti-MIF antibodies positively stained proteins from the extracts of adult worms or muscle larvae migrating at about 12.5 kDa (3 isoforms with isoelectric point 5.23, 5.72, and 6.29). Semiquantitative reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction revealed that the gene was expressed in various developmental stages, including in adult worms, newborn larvae, precyst muscle larvae, and postcyst muscle larvae, although there was difference in the expression level among these stages. The immunohistochemical analysis showed the MIF exists in the muscle cells of the body wall and some stichocytes of larvae. Histopathology of T. spiralis–infected muscles revealed an accumulation of mononuclear cells around the worms, and immunocytochemical staining showed these cells were not macrophages. Mononuclear cells, including macrophages, were, however, observed in cardiac muscles where the parasite did not encyst. Macrophages accumulated around the Sephadex beads transplanted in mice subcutaneously, but this accumulation was profoundly inhibited when the beads were pretreated with MIF recombinant protein.

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