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Selective expression and functions of interleukin 18 receptor on T helper (Th) type 1 but not Th2 cells

Lookup NU author(s): Professor John Robinson


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Interleukin (IL)-18 induces interferon (IFN)-γ synthesis and synergizes with IL-12 in T helper type 1 (Th1) but not Th2 cell development. We report here that IL-18 receptor (IL-18R) is selectively expressed on murine Th1 but not Th2 cells IL-18R mRNA was expressed constitutively and consistently in long-term cultured clones, as well as on newly polarized Th1 but not Th2 cells. IL-18 sustained the expression of IL-12Rβ2 mRNA, indicating that IL- 18R transmits signals that maintain Th1 development through the IL-12R complex. In turn, IL-12 upregulated IL-18R mRNA. Antibody against an IL-18R- derived peptide bound Th1 but not Th2 clones. It also labeled polarized Th1 but not Th2 cells derived from naive ovalbumin-T cell antigen receptor-αβ transgenic mice (D011.10), Anti-IL-18R antibody inhibited IL-18-induced IFN- γ, production by Th1 clones in vitro. In vivo, anti-IL-18R antibody reduced local inflammation and lipopolysaccharide-induced mortality in mice. This was accompanied by shifting the balance from Th1 to Th2 responses, manifest as decreased IFN-γ and proinflammatory cytokine production and increased IL-4 and IL-5 synthesis. Therefore, these data provide a direct mechanism for the selective effect of IL-18 on Th1 but not Th2 cells. They also show that the synergistic effect of IL-12 and IL-18 on Th1 development may be due to the reciprocal upregulation of their receptors. Furthermore, IL-18R is a cell surface marker distinguishing Th1 from Th2 cells and may be a therapeutic target.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Xu D, Chan WL, Leung BP, Hunter D, Schulz K, Carter RW, McInnes IB, Robinson JH, Liew FY

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Experimental Medicine

Year: 1998

Volume: 188

Issue: 8

Pages: 1485-1492

Print publication date: 19/10/1998

ISSN (print): 0022-1007

ISSN (electronic): 1540-9538

Publisher: Rockefeller University Press


DOI: 10.1084/jem.188.8.1485

PubMed id: 9782125


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