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Curr Opin Immunol. 1997 Dec;9(6):872-83.

CD4+ T-cell subsets in autoimmunity.

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DNAX Research Institute, Palo Alto, USA.


The discovery that functionally heterogeneous CD4+ T-cell subsets secrete different cytokines offers an explanation for the ability of certain T cells to mediate a predominant cell-mediated immune response versus a humoral response often accompanied by allergic manifestations. Th1 cells, important for cell-mediated immunity by their production of IL-2, IFN-gamma and lymphotoxin, have been implicated in the immunopathology of certain organ-specific autoimmune diseases whereas a role as regulators has been suggested for IL-4 and IL-10 producing Th2 cells. Recent findings, however, beg re-evaluation of the direct role of Th2 cells in the induction or maintenance of tolerance, whereas evidence for the role of a distinct subset of regulatory T cells producing TGF-beta to suppress cell-mediated immunopathology is compelling.

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