Author(s): Del Prete G, De Carli M, Almerigogna F, Daniel CK, DElios MM
A large panel of human CD4+ T helper (Th) cell clones with established Th1, Th2, or Th0 profiles of cytokine secretion were examined for the expression of CD30, a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily. Th1 clones expressed poor or no CD30 mRNA, and showed low or undetectable expression of both membrane and soluble CD30 (sCD30) protein, whereas Th2 clones showed both CD30 mRNA and membrane CD30 and released substantial amounts of sCD30. Th0 clones exhibited an intermediate pattern of CD30 expression and release. When T cells from the same donor were stimulated with three different antigens (purified protein derivative, PPD; Toxocara canis excretory/secretory antigen, TES; Lolium perenne group I, Lol p I), production of high concentrations of IFN-gamma, but not expression of CD30 or production of IL-4 and IL-5, were observed at any time after stimulation with PPD. In contrast, both CD30 expression and production of IL-4 and IL-5, but not of IFN-gamma, were concomitantly detectable in TES- and Lol p I-reactive T cells, suggesting a temporal relationship between CD30 expression and beginning of Th2-type cytokine production. Finally, CD4+CD30+ T cells specific for Lol p I and inducible to production of Th2-type cytokines were sorted out from the circulation of grass-sensitive patients in concomitance with the onset of allergic symptoms during the seasonal exposure to grass pollen. Thus, CD30 expression appears to be associated with the differentiation/activation pathway of human T cells producing Th2-type cytokines.