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Clin Exp Immunol. 1994 Oct;98(1):128-33.

Cytokine production in varicella zoster virus-stimulated limiting dilution lymphocyte cultures.

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1
Department of Paediatrics, University of Colorado Health Sciences Centre, Denver.

Abstract

Human blood lymphocytes were stimulated with varicella zoster virus (VZV) antigen in limiting dilution cultures and the amounts of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and IL-4 measured in the supernatants. The results indicate that up to 85% of proliferating cells of young adults produce IFN-gamma and up to 10% make IL-4. At limiting dilution, few if any wells were positive for both IFN-gamma and IL-4. The amount of IFN-gamma per well increased in the presence of antibody to IL-4, but anti-IFN-gamma not increase IL-4 production. The frequency of wells containing IFN-gamma was lower in subjects < 19 or > 55 years of age, and the amounts of IFN-gamma in positive wells was significantly lower in cultures of the older subjects' lymphocytes. The frequency of IL-4-making cells did not fall significantly with age. The data suggest that the age-related decline in the frequency of blood T cells which responds to VZV affects mainly the cells with a Th1-like cytokine phenotype.

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