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Interferon gamma derived from CD4(+) T cells is sufficient to mediate T helper cell type 1 development.

  • Author(s): Wakil, AE
  • Wang, ZE
  • Ryan, JC
  • Fowell, DJ
  • Locksley, RM
  • et al.
Abstract

Interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) has been implicated in T helper type 1 (Th1) cell development through its ability to optimize interleukin 12 (IL-12) production from macrophages and IL-12 receptor expression on activated T cells. Various systems have suggested a role for IFN-gamma derived from the innate immune system, particularly natural killer (NK) cells, in mediating Th1 differentiation in vivo. We tested this requirement by reconstituting T cell and IFN-gamma doubly deficient mice with wild-type CD4(+) T cells and challenging the mice with pathogens that elicited either minimal or robust IL-12 in vivo (Leishmania major or Listeria monocytogenes, respectively). Th1 cells developed under both conditions, and this was unaffected by the presence or absence of IFN-gamma in non-T cells. Reconstitution with IFN-gamma-deficient CD4(+) T cells could not reestablish control over L. major, even in the presence of IFN-gamma from the NK compartment. These data demonstrate that activated T cells can maintain responsiveness to IL-12 through elaboration of endogenous IFN-gamma without requirement for an exogenous source of this cytokine.

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