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J Exp Med. 1997 May 19;185(10):1837-49.

Unequal death in T helper cell (Th)1 and Th2 effectors: Th1, but not Th2, effectors undergo rapid Fas/FasL-mediated apoptosis.

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  • 1University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.


T helper cell (Th) 1, but not Th2, effectors undergo rapid Fas/Fas ligand (FasL)-mediated, activation-induced cell death upon restimulation with antigen. Unequal apoptosis is also observed without restimulation, after a longer lag period. Both effectors undergo delayed apoptosis induced by a non-Fas-mediated pathway. When Th1 and Th2 effectors are co-cultured, Th2 effectors survive preferentially, suggesting the responsible factor(s) is intrinsic to each population. Both Th1 and Th2 effectors express Fas and FasL, but only Th2 effectors express high levels of FAP-1, a Fas-associated phosphatase that may act to inhibit Fas signaling. The rapid death of Th1 effectors leading to selective Th2 survival provides a novel mechanism for differential regulation of the two subsets.

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