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J Immunol. 1996 Aug 15;157(4):1350-8.

A direct role for IFN-gamma in regulation of Th1 cell development.

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1
Department of Biology, University of California, La Jolla 92093, USA.

Abstract

IL-12 has been identified as a major cytokine influencing the differentiation of CD4 cells to a Th1 phenotype, whereas a role for IFN-gamma is controversial. We investigated the interrelationship between IL-12 and IFN-gamma in promoting Th1 responses using naive CD4 cells reactive with pigeon cytochrome c from TCR transgenics and memory CD4 cells derived by in vivo priming with KLH. Without exogenous rIL-12 or rIFN-gamma, primary and memory effectors induced by Ag or anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 secreted variable levels of IL-2 and IFN-gamma. The level of IFN-gamma secreted by effectors correlated with endogenous IFN-gamma produced in primary cultures, and anti-IFN-gamma largely inhibited the development of effectors producing IFN-gamma. With optimal TCR stimulation and costimulation, endogenous IFN-gamma, without IL-12, was sufficient to elicit Th1 cells via an autocrine mechanism, whereas with suboptimal stimulation, exogenous rIFN-gamma or rIL-12 was required for Th1 development. However, rIL-12 was more effective than rIFN-gamma, partially because rIL-12 greatly enhanced autocrine production of IFN-gamma, and optimal development of the Th1 phenotype was mediated by the synergistic actions of both cytokines. Thus, both IFN-gamma and IL-12 can independently regulate Th1 development, but because of IFN-gamma-mediated feedback, their relative contributions are determined by the conditions of T cell stimulation. The extent of differentiation to a Th1 phenotype may, therefore, depend on the availability of both APC-derived IL-12 and autocrine IFN-gamma consequent to the overall strength of T cell stimulation.

PMID:
8759714
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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