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J Immunol. 1997 Jul 1;159(1):28-35.

IL-12-deficient dendritic cells, generated in the presence of prostaglandin E2, promote type 2 cytokine production in maturing human naive T helper cells.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology and Histology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


We studied to what extent the presence of an inflammatory mediator PGE2, during the development of dendritic cells (DC) affects their subsequent ability to induce Th1- and Th2-type cytokines in maturing naive Th cells. PGE2 (10(-9)-10(-6) M) did not alter the morphology or the expression of class II MHC and costimulatory molecules on DC obtained from monocytes in the presence of granulocyte-macrophage CSF and IL-4, although at concentrations above 10(-8) M, PGE2 prevented the acquisition of CD1a marker. Both control DC and DC maturing in the presence of PGE2 (PGE2-DC) were potent stimulators of naive Th cells. In contrast to control DC, which produced high amounts of IL-12 and trace amounts of IL-10, PGE2-DC produced no IL-12 and high amounts of IL-10 when stimulated in the absence of PGE2. This distinct cytokine profile of PGE2-DC was stable for at least 48 h of additional culture in the absence of PGE2. Control DC induced the development of Th0-like cells from superantigen-activated naive Th cells, whereas PGE2-DC promoted the development of Th cells that produced high amounts of IL-4 and IL-5. Experiments using IL-12-neutralizing Abs or rIL-12 indicated a crucial role of IL-12 deficiency in the induction of type 2 cytokine profiles. These findings suggest that elevated levels of PGE2 promote type 2 Th responses by stably impairing the ability of maturing DC to produce IL-12. Since type 2 Th responses are protective in several Th1-related autoimmune disorders, PGE2-DC may be considered for use in immunotherapy.

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