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Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2001 Dec;15(5):677-91.

The balance of Th1/Th2 cytokines in rheumatoid arthritis.

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  • 1Nikolaus Fiebiger Center for Molecular Medicine, Clinical Research Group III and Department of Internal Medicine III and Institute for Clinical Immunology, Glueckstrasse 6, Erlangen, 91054, Germany.


It has been suggested that rheumatoid inflammation is mediated by activated pro-inflammatory T helper type I cells. In contrast, immunomodulatory T helper type 2 cells and their cytokines, in particular interleukin-4, are rarely found. This chapter reviews the concept of the Th1/Th2 dichotomy and summarizes the functions of the signature cytokines of the T helper subsets. We discuss current knowledge of the immunopathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and its related animal model, collagen induced arthritis, with regard to the Th1/Th2 paradigm. The accumulating evidence for a T helper type 1 driven inflammation and the implications for future therapy are delineated.

Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

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