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Production and modulation of T-cell cytokines in atopic allergy

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Catharien Hilkens


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Atopic allergy is associated with allergen-specific CD4+ T cells showing a bias to production of the type-2 cytokines interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-5. There are indications that this bias is also evident in atopic T-helper (Th) cells with other antigen specificities. The balance between the production of type-1 and type-2 cytokines is influenced by various factors present in the microenvironment of the Th cells during their activation. Factors of special interest are antigen-presenting cell-derived IL-12 and prostaglandin E2, skewing to type-1 and type-2 cytokine production, respectively. The production of IL-12 and prostaglandin E2 is induced by the interaction between CD40 and CD40 ligand expressed by Th cells, and by biologically active agents such as micro-organisms or their products. The IL-12/prostaglandin E2 production ratio depends on the antigen-presenting cell type, the type of stimulus and the presence of certain cytokines. Other Th-cytokine-skewing factors are autocrine or paracrine IFN-gamma and IL-4. In fact, the type-1/type-2 cytokine production balance in Th cells is under the control of various soluble products that act in a complex network of type-1 (e.g. IL-12, IFN-gamma) or type-2 (e.g. IL-4, IL-10 and prostaglandin E2) factors and are produced by Th cells and their accessory antigen-presenting or bystander cells. The levels of these factors may further be determined by gene polymorphisms or aberrant hormone levels. Despite the growing knowledge of the regulation of Th-cell cytokine production, the etiology of biased cytokine production in atopic allergic individuals is still enigmatic.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kapsenberg ML, Hilkens CM, Jansen HM, Bos JD, Snijders A, Wierenga EA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Archives of Allergy and Immunology

Year: 1996

Volume: 110

Issue: 2

Pages: 107-113

Print publication date: 01/06/1996

ISSN (print): 1018-2438

ISSN (electronic): 1423-0097

Publisher: S. Karger AG


DOI: 10.1159/000237274

Notes: 1018-2438 Journal Article Review Review, Tutorial


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