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J Immunol. 2007 Apr 15;178(8):4771-8.

An essential role for IL-18 in CD8 T cell-mediated suppression of IgE responses.

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  • 1Department of Asthma, Allergy, and Respiratory Science, King's College London School of Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

Erratum in

  • J Immunol. 2007 Jun 1;178(11):7488. Loon, Wong Kok [corrected to Wong, Kok Loon].


The ability of CD8 T cells to suppress IgE responses is well established. Previously, we demonstrated that CD8 T cells inhibit IgE responses via the induction of IL-12, which promotes Th1 and suppresses Th2 responses. In this study, we show that IL-18 also plays an essential role in IgE suppression. In vitro, IL-18 synergized with IL-12 to promote Th1/T cytotoxic 1 and inhibit Th2/T cytotoxic 2 differentiation. OVA-specific TCR transgenic (OT-I) CD8 cells induced both IL-12 and IL-18 when cultured with OVA(257-264) peptide-pulsed dendritic cells. In vivo, IL-18(-/-) mice exhibited higher IgE and IgG1 levels compared with wild-type mice after immunization with OVA/alum. Furthermore, adoptive transfer of CD8 T cells from OVA-primed mice suppressed IgE responses in OVA/alum-immunized mice, but not in IL-18(-/-) mice. IgE suppression in IL-18(-/-) mice was restored if CD8 T cells were coadoptively transferred with IL-18-competent wild-type bone marrow dendritic cell progenitors, demonstrating an essential role of IL-18 in CD8 T cell-mediated suppression of IgE responses. The data suggest that CD8 T cells induce IL-18 production during a cognate interaction with APCs that synergizes with IL-12 to promote immune deviation away from the allergic phenotype. Our data identify IL-18 induction as a potentially useful target in immunotherapy of allergic disease.

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