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More MS news articles for December 2002

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

Arthritis Res 2002;4(6):333-6
Rosloniec EF, Latham K, Guedez YB.
VA Medical Center, Research Service (151), Memphis, Tennessee, USA.

T-cell responses to antigens are classified on the basis of the cytokines they produce as either Th1 (IFN-gamma, 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-gamma.

This simplistic classification has recently been challenged, however, as disease incidence and severity are frequently elevated in animals that have a deficient IFN-gamma 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-gamma.