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Restricted Production of Interleukin 4 by Activated Human T Cells

David B. Lewis, Kathryn S. Prickett, Alf Larsen, Kenneth Grabstein, Michael Weaver and Christopher B. Wilson
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 85, No. 24 (Dec. 15, 1988), pp. 9743-9747
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/32714
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Restricted Production of Interleukin 4 by Activated Human T Cells
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Abstract

Interleukin 4 (IL-4) is secreted by activated T cells and pleiotropically modulates both B- and T-lymphocyte function. In murine helper (CD4+) T-cell clones IL-4 production appears to be regulated independently of interferon γ and interleukin 2. To determine whether production of these lymphokines is also differentially regulated in uncloned human T cells, we studied lymphokine production by normal human peripheral T cells and T-cell subsets after in vitro polyclonal activation. After maximal induction of lymphokine expression, IL-4 mRNA was detectable in <5% of CD4+ and 1-2% of unfractionated T cells, whereas ≈ 33% and 60% of CD4+ cells expressed detectable mRNA for interferon γ and interleukin 2, respectively. This finding correlated with dramatically lower production of IL-4 mRNA and protein than of interferon γ and interleukin 2 by peripheral blood and tonsillar T cells. The helper-inducer (CD4+ CD45R-) T-cell subset, which significantly enhances in vitro immunoglobulin production, accounted for the preponderance of IL-4 mRNA accumulation and protein production by CD4+ T cells; nevertheless, cells with detectable IL-4 mRNA constituted <10% of the CD4+ CD45R- subset. Limitation of IL-4 production to a comparatively small population of normal human T cells could selectively regulate the effects of this lymphokine in T-cell-mediated immune responses; such selective regulation may be a fundamental mechanism for restricting the potentially pleiotropic effects of certain lymphokines to appropriate responder cells.

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