Either IL-2 or IL-12 is sufficient to direct Th1 differentiation by nonobese diabetic T cells.

Zhou W, Zhang F, Aune TM
J Immunol. 2003 170 (2): 735-40

PMID: 12517935 · DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.170.2.735

Th cell differentiation from naive precursors is a tightly controlled process; the most critical differentiation factor is the action of the driving cytokine: IL-12 for Th1 development, IL-4 for Th2 development. We found that CD4(+) T cells from nonobese diabetic mice spontaneously differentiate into IFN-gamma-producing Th1 cells in response to polyclonal TCR stimulation in the absence of IL-12 and IFN-gamma. Instead, IL-2 was necessary and sufficient to direct T cell differentiation to the Th1 lineage by nonobese diabetic CD4(+) T cells. Its ability to direct Th1 differentiation of both naive and memory CD4(+) T cells was clearly uncoupled from its ability to stimulate cell division. Autocrine IL-2-driven Th1 differentiation of nonobese diabetic T cells may represent a genetic liability that favors development of IFN-gamma-producing autoreactive T cells.

MeSH Terms (17)

Animals Cell Differentiation Cell Division Cells, Cultured Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 Female Interferon-gamma Interleukin-2 Interleukin-12 Lymphocyte Activation Mice Mice, Inbred BALB C Mice, Inbred C57BL Mice, Inbred NOD T-Lymphocyte Subsets Th1 Cells Up-Regulation

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