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Cytokine. 2015 Jul;74(1):5-17. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2014.09.011. Epub 2014 Oct 30.

T cell subsets and their signature cytokines in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, University of Texas at San Antonio, TX 78249, United States.
2
Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital, TX 77030, United States.
3
Department of Biology, University of Texas at San Antonio, TX 78249, United States. Electronic address: Thomas.forsthuber@utsa.edu.

Abstract

CD4(+) T helper (Th) cells are critical for proper immune cell homeostasis and host defense, but are also major contributors to pathology of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Since the discovery of the Th1/Th2 dichotomy, many additional Th subsets were discovered, each with a unique cytokine profile, functional properties, and presumed role in autoimmune tissue pathology. This includes Th1, Th2, Th17, Th22, Th9, and Treg cells which are characterized by specific cytokine profiles. Cytokines produced by these Th subsets play a critical role in immune cell differentiation, effector subset commitment, and in directing the effector response. Cytokines are often categorized into proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines and linked to Th subsets expressing them. This article reviews the different Th subsets in terms of cytokine profiles, how these cytokines influence and shape the immune response, and their relative roles in promoting pathology in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Furthermore, we will discuss whether Th cell pathogenicity can be defined solely based on their cytokine profiles and whether rigid definition of a Th cell subset by its cytokine profile is helpful.

KEYWORDS:

Autoimmune disease; Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; Multiple sclerosis; Signature cytokine; T cell subset

PMID:
25458968
PMCID:
PMC4416069
DOI:
10.1016/j.cyto.2014.09.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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