Clinical and Experimental Immunology vol:121 issue:1 pages:86-93
We analysed regulatory mechanisms involved in the production of Th2 cytokines by freshly isolated human T cells. We used an in vitro culture system in which the primary signal was provided by a cross-linking anti-CD3 MoAb presented on the Fc receptors of P815 cells. Both CD80 and CD86, expressed on transfected P815 cells, were able to provide efficient costimulation for the production of IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13. IL-2 was also highly important for induction of all three Th2 cytokines. However, differences between IL-4 on the one hand and IL-5 and IL-13 on the other hand were observed when sensitivity to cyclosporin A (CsA) was studied. CsA (an inhibitor of calcineurin phosphatase activity) strongly inhibited IL-4 production, but it did either not affect or even increased IL-5 and IL-13 production. In accordance with this, CD80 and phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) (without anti-CD3 or calcium ionophore) were sufficient to induce production of IL-5 and IL-13, but not of IL-4. The subgrouping of Th2 cytokines was further confirmed at another level on the basis of differences in cell sources: IL-4 was predominantly produced by CD4+ T cells, while IL-5 and IL-13 were produced by both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Thus, differences in cell sources and in the requirement of the calcium/calcineurin-signalling pathway allowed us to identify two subgroups (IL-4 and IL-5/IL-13) among human Th2-type T cell cytokines.