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Clin Exp Allergy. 2005 Apr;35(4):498-505.

Allergen-induced cytokine phenotypes in mice: role of CD4 and CD8 T cell populations.

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Syngenta Central Toxicology Laboratory, Macclesfield, Cheshire, UK.



CD4+ T cells expressing type 2 cytokines have been implicated in the pathogenesis of asthma to high-molecular-weight allergens. Topical exposure of BALB/c strain mice to low-molecular-weight chemical contact and respiratory allergens stimulates type 1 and type 2 cytokine secretion phenotypes, respectively.


To examine the relative frequencies of cytokine-positive CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and their contributions to these cytokine secretion profiles. Methods Draining auricular lymph nodes were isolated 13 days after initiation of topical exposure of female BALB/c strain mice to chemical allergen, or to vehicle alone. The frequency of intracellular cytokine (IL-4 and IFN-gamma)-positive CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes was enumerated by flow cytometry. The relative contribution of CD4+ and CD8+ cells to cytokine secretion profiles was assessed by negative selection.


Exposure to allergen resulted in an increased frequency of both IFN-gamma+ CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes, although there were no marked differences between trimellitic anhydride (TMA)- and 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB)-activated lymph node cells. Treatment with TMA induced approximately five times as many IL-4+ CD4+ cells as did exposure to DNCB. This pattern of cytokine staining was also observed for a further pair of contact and respiratory allergens; respectively, formalin and fluorescein isothiocyanate.


These data demonstrate that the divergent immune responses induced in mice by different classes of chemical allergen are independent of changes in the frequency of IFN-gamma+ cells, but are associated with differential frequencies of IL-4-expressing CD4+ T cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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