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Science. 1997 Feb 14;275(5302):977-9.

Immunoglobulin E production in the absence of interleukin-4-secreting CD1-dependent cells.

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  • 1Department of Cancer Biology, Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Boston, MA 02115, USA.


A lymphocyte population that expresses surface markers found on T cells and natural killer (NK) cells secretes large amounts of interleukin-4 (IL-4) immediately after T cell receptor ligation. These NK-like T cells are thus thought to be important for the initiation of type 2 T helper cell (TH2) responses. CD1-deficient mice were found to lack this lymphocyte subset, but they could nevertheless mount a protypical TH2 response; after immunization with antibody to immunoglobulin D (IgD), CD1-deficient mice produced IgE. Thus, although dependent on CD1 for their development, IL-4-secreting NK-like T cells are not required for TH2 responses.

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