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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2005 Mar;100 Suppl 1:137-44. Epub 2005 Jun 14.

The role of interferon-gamma on immune and allergic responses.

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Divisão de Biologia Celular, Instituto Nacional de Câncer, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 20231-050, Brasil.


Allergic diseases have been closely related to Th2 immune responses, which are characterized by high levels of interleukin (IL) IL-4, IL-5, IL-9 and IL-13. These cytokines orchestrate the recruitment and activation of different effector cells, such as eosinophils and mast cells. These cells along with Th2 cytokines are key players on the development of chronic allergic inflammatory disorders, usually characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness, reversible airway obstruction, and airway inflammation. Accumulating evidences have shown that altering cytokine-producing profile of Th2 cells by inducing Th1 responses may be protective against Th2-related diseases such as asthma and allergy. Interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), the principal Th1 effector cytokine, has shown to be crucial for the resolution of allergic-related immunopathologies. In fact, reduced production of this cytokine has been correlated with severe asthma. In this review, we will discuss the role of IFN-gamma during the generation of immune responses and its influence on allergic inflammation models, emphasizing its biologic properties during the different aspects of allergic responses.

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