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Arthritis Res. 2002; 4(6): 333–336.
Published online Jul 17, 2002.
PMCID: PMC153838
Paradoxical roles of IFN-γ in models of Th1-mediated autoimmunity
Edward F Rosloniec,corresponding author1,2,3 Kary Latham,3 and Yajaira B Guedez2
1VA Medical Center, Research Service (151), Memphis, Tennessee, USA
2Department of Medicine, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
3Department of Pathology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Edward F Rosloniec: erosloniec/at/utmem.edu
Received May 13, 2002; Revised July 3, 2002; Accepted July 3, 2002.
Abstract
T-cell responses to antigens are classified on the basis of the cytokines they produce as either Th1 (IFN-γ, IL-2) or Th2 (IL-4, IL-10), with these Th types being indicative of either cell-mediated or antibody-mediated responses, respectively. Using this classification, T-cell responses in MHC-class-II-restricted autoimmune diseases appear to be predominantly of the Th1 type, based on the presence of high levels of IFN-γ. This simplistic classification has recently been challenged, however, as disease incidence and severity are frequently elevated in animals that have a deficient IFN-γ response. The recent data discussed here indicate that the cytokine circuits involved in the regulation of cell-mediated and humoral immune responses during the development of autoimmune arthritis are more complex than originally proposed; perhaps our characterization of autoimmune responses as strictly Th1 or Th2 is overly simplistic, especially as it pertains to the role of IFN-γ.
Keywords: arthritis, autoimmunity, cytokines, IFN-γ
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