How to deal with polarized Th2 cells: exploring the Achilles' heel (2001)

Author(s): Smits HH, Hilkens CM, Kalinski P, Kapsenberg ML, Wierenga EA

  • : How to deal with polarized Th2 cells: exploring the Achilles' heel

Abstract: The central effector cells in the pathogenesis of atopic allergic diseases are type 2 T helper (Th2) cells, which display an aberrant cytokine profile dominated by type 2 cytokines. Initial reports from mouse studies indicated that established and committed Th2 cells are stable and unsusceptible to modulation. However, there is a growing awareness that in humans, established effector Th2 cells are more flexible and can be reverted to predominant Th1 phenotypes. In fact, the Th1-driving cytokine interleukin (IL)-12 is the crucial factor in this respect. IL-12 is mainly produced by dendritic cells (DC), which can be primed for high or low IL-12 production, depending on inflammatory and/or microbial signals they encounter during their residence in the peripheral tissues. Accordingly, both the regulation of and the priming for IL-12 production in DC form ideal targets for therapeutic intervention. The development of new therapies for atopic allergy now focuses on local IL-12-promoting substances to target both the development of new Th2 cells and the persistent population of established allergen-specific Th2 cells.

Notes: 1018-2438 Journal Article Review Review, Tutorial

  • Short Title: How to deal with polarized Th2 cells: exploring the Achilles' heel
  • Date: October 2001
  • Journal: International Archives of Allergy and Immunology
  • Volume: 126
  • Issue: 2
  • Pages: 102-110
  • Publisher: S. Karger AG
  • Publication type: Article
  • Bibliographic status: Published

Keywords: Animals Cell Differentiation Dendritic Cells/*physiology Human Hypersensitivity, Immediate/*immunology Interleukin-12/*metabolism/pharmacology Mice Receptors, Interleukin/metabolism Th1 Cells/immunology/physiology Th2 Cells/immunology/*physiology


Dr Catharien Hilkens
Reader in Immunotherapy