Send to

Choose Destination
Pharmacotherapy. 1997 Mar-Apr;17(2):205-23.

Cytokine networks with infection: mycobacterial infections, leishmaniasis, human immunodeficiency virus infection, and sepsis.

Author information

University of Georgia, College of Pharmacy, Augusta, USA.


Distinct cytokine profiles are clearly associated with and relate to the severity of several types of infections. Cytokine networks are apparent with selected human infectious diseases, such as mycobacterial infections (leprosy, tuberculosis), the parasitic infection leishmaniasis, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, and gram-negative sepsis. Cytokine profiles are determined to some extent by two functional subsets of T lymphocytes, Th1 and Th2. The Th1 cytokines (interferon gamma, interleukin-2 [IL-2], IL-12) enhance cell-mediated immunity, inhibit humoral immunity, and result in protective effect for pathogens that are removed primarily through cell-mediated immunity (Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mycobacterium leprae, Leishmania). The Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, IL-13) enhance humoral immunity and inhibit cell-mediated immunity, and result in protective effect for pathogens removed primarily through humoral mechanisms. Progression of HIV infection is associated with a switch from a Th1 to a Th2 profile. For sepsis, uncontrolled activation of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interferon-gamma) may be a fundamental defect that promotes the detrimental aspects of inflammation, whereas Th2 cytokines may be beneficial in controlling inflammation. Knowledge of basic cytokine immunopharmacology, networks, and relationships with infectious processes will aid clinicians in determining treatment approaches that are likely to be effective.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center