Author(s): Delgado M, Ganea D
A component of the chemical language shared by the immune and nervous system is the expression of neuropeptides by immune cells. Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) was shown to be produced by T lymphocytes. Here we investigate whether T cell subsets differentially express VIP. Our studies indicate that, upon specific Ag stimulation, Th2 and T2 cells, but not Th1 and T1 cells derived from TCR transgenic (Tg) mice, express VIP mRNA and protein, and secrete VIP. Following immunization with the specific Ag, significant levels of VIP are present in the serum of syngeneic, non-Tg hosts that receive Th2, but not Th1 Tg cells. Th2 Tg cells recovered from the non-Tg hosts immunized with the specific Ag, but not with an irrelevant Ag, express intracellular VIP. Because VIP is produced by Ag-stimulated type 2 T cells, and differentially affects Th1 and Th2 cells, could VIP be viewed as a type 2 cytokine?