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Eur J Immunol. 1998 Jul;28(7):2066-74.

Enhanced Th2-like responses in IL-1 type 1 receptor-deficient mice.

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Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston 02115, USA.


IL-1 has a number of effects on T cell growth but a specific role for IL-1 in T cell responses in vivo has not been elucidated. In this study the role of IL-1 in Th1/Th2 responses was examined in mice deficient for the IL-1 type 1 receptor (IL-1RI-/-) during cutaneous Leishmania major infection or following immunization with keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH). After inoculation of L. major stationary phase promastigotes into the hind footpad, both IL-1RI-/- and wild-type (WT) mice developed small lesions which resolved spontaneously. Lymph node cells from infected IL-1RI-/- mice produced significantly more IL-4 and IL-10 than those from WT mice following antigenic stimulation in vitro. Splenocytes from IL-1RI-/- and WT mice showed similar levels of antigen-induced proliferation. In contrast, splenocyte cultures from the IL-1RI-/- mice contained significantly more IL-4 than those from WT mice. Similar results were also obtained after immunization with KLH. While lymph node cells from both IL-1RI-/- and WT mice displayed similar levels of KLH-specific proliferation, those from IL-1RI-/- mice produced significantly more IL-4 than those from WT mice. Conversely, antigen-stimulated lymph node cells from WT mice secreted significantly greater amounts of IFN-gamma as compared with those from IL-1RI-/- mice. These data indicate that while IL-1 is not required for mounting an immune response or antigen-dependent proliferation, it appears to be required for normal regulation of Th1/Th2 responses and may function to negatively regulate IL-4 expression.

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