Author(s): Yu JJ, Tripp CS, Russell JH
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Abstract We have explored the phenotype and regulation of Th1 cell activation by the cytokines IL-12 and IL-18. We demonstrate that these two cytokines selectively induce IFN-gamma in a differentiated Th1 cell population through the previously described p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway. Using a highly selective p38 MAP kinase inhibitor, we demonstrate that it is possible to block IFN-gamma induction from activated, differentiated Th1 cells via p38 MAP kinase without disrupting the activation and differentiation of naive T cells or the proliferation of naive or differentiated T cells. In addition, IL-12 and IL-18 provide an Ag and IL-2-independent survival signal to this uniquely differentiated Th1 cell population. We hypothesize that this Ag-independent survival of Th1 cells may participate in an innate inflammatory loop with monocytes at the sites of chronic inflammation. In addition, p38 MAP kinase inhibition of this cytokine-regulated pathway may be a unique mechanism to inhibit chronic inflammation without disruption of Ag-driven activation and function of naive T cells.
This article was published in J Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology