Roles of IL-4 and IFN-γ in Stabilizing the T Helper Cell Type 1 and 2 Phenotype

Tetsuo Nakamura, Richard K. Lee, Sang Y. Nam, Eckhard R Podack, Kim Bottomly, Richard A. Flavell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


It has previously been reported that Th1 CD4 T cell populations can be converted to IL-4 producers, whereas Th2 populations are refractory to IL-12-mediated IFN-γ production. We have recently shown that CD30 is a marker for the IL-4 response and have therefore used CD30 here to study Th1 and Th2 commitment. We show that Th2 cell populations normally show a stable phenotype and fail to respond to IL-12 because of endogenous IL-4 production. IFN-γ abrogates this antagonistic effect of IL-4 and permits the conversion of Th2 populations to IFN-γ producers by IL-12. In the complete absence of IL-4, however, IFN-γ is not required for this transformation, and Th1 cells generated by IL-12 become committed to the Th1 pathway and lose the ability to respond to IL-4. Thus, the balance between local IL-4 and IFN-γ in an immune response is a key factor in determining the outcome of the CD4 effector T cell response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2648-2653
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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