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Eur J Immunol. 1995 Dec;25(12):3298-307.

In susceptible mice, Leishmania major induce very rapid interleukin-4 production by CD4+ T cells which are NK1.1-.

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WHO Immunology Research and Training Center, Institute of Biochemistry, Epalinges, Switzerland.


Susceptibility of BALB/c mice to infection with Leishmania major is associated with a T helper type 2 (Th2) response. Since interleukin-4 (IL-4) is critically required early for Th2 cell development, the kinetics of IL-4 mRNA expression was compared in susceptible and resistant mice during the first days of infection. In contrast to resistant mice, susceptible mice exhibited a peak of IL-4 mRNA in their spleens 90 min after i.v. injection of parasites and in lymph nodes 16 h after s.c. injection. IL-12 and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) down-regulated this early peak of IL-4 mRNA; the effect of IL-12 was IFN-gamma dependent. Treatment of resistant C57BL/6 mice with anti-IFN-gamma allowed the expression of this early IL-4 response to L. major. The increased IL-4 mRNA expression occurred in V beta 8, 7, 2- CD4+ cells in BALB/c mice and NK1.1- CD4+ cells in anti-IFN-gamma treated C57BL/6 mice. These results show that the NK1.1+ CD4+ cells, responsible for the rapid burst of IL-4 production after i.v. injection of anti-CD3, do not contribute to the early IL-4 response to L. major.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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