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Differential representations of memory T cell subsets are characteristic of polarized immunity in leprosy and atopic diseases.

Abstract

We identified functionally polarized subsets of CD4 memory T cells on the basis of the expression of CD11a, CD45RA and CD62L. Within the several phenotypically distinct subsets of CD4 memory cells are two that, upon stimulation, produce primarily IL-4 (MT(2), CD45RA(-)CD62L(+)CD11a(dim)) or primarily IFN-gamma (MT(1), CD45RA(-)CD62L(-)CD11a(bright)). In addition, four other phenotypically distinct subsets of CD4 cells have unique cytokine profiles. To determine the clinical relevance of the representation of these cell types, we analyzed blood from patients with the chronic diseases leprosy and atopy. These diseases are characterized as immunologically polarized, since T cell responses in affected individuals are often strongly biased towards T(h)1 (dominated by IFN-gamma production) or T(h)2 (IL-4 production). We show here that this polarization reflects homeostatic or differentiation mechanisms affecting the representation of the functionally distinct subsets of memory CD4 T cells, MT(1) and MT(2). Significantly, the representation of the MT(1) and MT(2) subsets differs dramatically between subjects with tuberculoid leprosy (a T(h)1 disease), or lepromatous leprosy or atopic disease (T(h)2 diseases). However, there was no difference in the cytokine profiles of these or any of the other finely resolved CD4 subsets, when compared between individuals across all disease states. Thus, it is the representation of these subsets in peripheral blood that is diagnostic of the polarized state of the immune system.

More information

Type
Journal Article
Author
Mitra D K
De Rosa S C
Luke A
Balamurugan A
Khaitan B K
Tung J
Mehra N K
Terr A I
O'Garra A
Herzenberg L A
Roederer M
Year of Publication
1999
Journal
International immunology
Volume
11
Issue
11
Number of Pages
1801-10
Date Published
1999 Nov
Language
eng
ISSN Number
0953-8178
DOI
10.1093/intimm/11.11.1801
Alternate Journal
Int. Immunol.
Publication Language
eng

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