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Immunology. 1993 Feb;78(2):185-92.

Contact sensitization to oxazolone: involvement of both interferon-gamma and interleukin-4 in oxazolone-specific Ig and T-cell responses.

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  • 1Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Victoria, Australia.


The synthesis and role of several lymphokines were examined during contact sensitization to oxazolone (OX). Application of OX to the skin of mice increased the delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) response to challenge, serum titres of OX-specific IgG1 and IgG2a, and draining lymph node cell (LNC) numbers. At day 3, LN contained detectable interleukin-4 (IL-4), interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) but not IL-2 or IL-3 mRNAs; IL-3 and higher levels of IL-4, IFN-gamma and GM-CSF mRNAs were measured after 24 hr culture with anti-CD3 antibody in OX-primed but not unprimed LNC. As a result of sensitization, LNC secreted IL-3 constitutively and produced elevated levels of IL-2, IL-3, IL-4 and IFN-gamma in response to anti-CD3 antibody; a similar but weaker lymphokine response was recalled by OX-protein conjugate. CD4+ cells were the major source of the anti-CD3-induced lymphokines except IFN-gamma, which was derived mainly from CD8+ cells. Since both IL-4 and IFN-gamma were synthesized by OX-primed LNC in vivo and in vitro, their role was investigated by administering anti-lymphokine antibodies at the time of sensitization. Anti-IL-4 treatment reduced OX-specific serum IgG1 titres without affecting IgG2a titres, whereas anti-IFN-gamma treatment reduced IgG2a but not IgG1 titres. Although neither antibody altered DTH responsiveness, anti-IFN-gamma treatment markedly increased IL-4 production by CD4+ LNC and reduced IFN-gamma production in vitro, particularly by CD4+ cells. We conclude that endogenous IL-4 and IFN-gamma reciprocally influence the isotype of the Ig response to OX and that IFN-gamma also affects the relative levels of IL-4 and IFN-gamma synthesis by CD4+ LNC.

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