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Intensive Care Med. 1999 Jan;25(1):106-9.

T helper cell subset ratios in patients with severe sepsis.

Author information

1
Academic Unit of Anaesthesia & Intensive Care, Institute of Medical Sciences, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

T helper 1 (Thl) lymphocytes produce interferon gamma (IFNgamma), favouring cell mediated immunity; Th2 cells secrete interleukin-4 (IL-4), favouring humoral immunity. Cytokines produced in sepsis may effect Th subset predominance and subsequent immune responses.

METHODS:

We measured Th subsets in ten patients with severe sepsis, seven APACHE II score-matched non-septic critically ill control patients, and ten healthy subjects. Mononuclear leukocytes were isolated and Th subsets identified by flow cytometry.

RESULTS:

The median (range) Th1/Th2 ratio was 0.46 (0.2-2.5) in patients with sepsis, which was significantly lower than both non-septic controls (median 2.5 (0.2-5.9), p = 0.050) and healthy subjects (median 3.9 (1.2-10.8), p = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS:

In patients with sepsis, Th2 antibody mediated (humoral) immune responses predominate. This type of response may lead to fibroblast activation and ultimately immunosuppression. Modulation of Th cell subset predominance may present a novel therapeutic option in the treatment of severe sepsis.

PMID:
10051087
DOI:
10.1007/s001340050795
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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