Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Oct 13;95(21):12544-9.

Neuropeptides, by direct interaction with T cells, induce cytokine secretion and break the commitment to a distinct T helper phenotype.

Author information

  • 1Department of Immunology, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


Searching for nervous system candidates that could directly induce T cell cytokine secretion, I tested four neuropeptides (NPs): somatostatin, calcitonin gene-related peptide, neuropeptide Y, and substance P. Comparing neuropeptide-driven versus classical antigen-driven cytokine secretion from T helper cells Th0, Th1, and Th2 autoimmune-related T cell populations, I show that the tested NPs, in the absence of any additional factors, directly induce a marked secretion of cytokines [interleukin 2 (IL-2), interferon-gamma, IL-4, and IL-10) from T cells. Furthermore, NPs drive distinct Th1 and Th2 populations to a "forbidden" cytokine secretion: secretion of Th2 cytokines from a Th1 T cell line and vice versa. Such a phenomenon cannot be induced by classical antigenic stimulation. My study suggests that the nervous system, through NPs interacting with their specific T cell-expressed receptors, can lead to the secretion of both typical and atypical cytokines, to the breakdown of the commitment to a distinct Th phenotype, and a potentially altered function and destiny of T cells in vivo.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk