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Arthritis Res. 2002; 4(6): 333–336.
Published online 2002 July 17.
PMCID: PMC153838

Paradoxical roles of IFN-γ in models of Th1-mediated autoimmunity

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

Articles from Arthritis Research are provided here courtesy of BioMed Central