Sunday, October 03, 2004

T cell clone avidity

Tonight I decided to cite the abstract of a published paper that I got my hands on. It's about memory cells, which are used to retain a record of previously encountered antigens. These cells allow the immune system to respond more rapidly to subsequent invasions.

The patterns of Ag-induced cytokine coexpression in normal, in vivo-primed CD4 memory T cells has remained controversial because the low frequency at which these cells occur has effectively prevented direct ex vivo measurements. We have overcome this limitation by using two-color cytokine enzyme-linked immunospot assays and computer-assisted image analysis. We found CD4 memory cells that simultaneously expressed IL-2, IL-3, IL-4, IL-5, and IFN--y to be rare (0-10%). This cytokine segregation was seen in adjuvant-induced type 1, type 2, and mixed immunity to OVA, in Leishmania infection regardless of the Ag dose used or how long after immunization the assay was performed. The data suggest that type 1 and type 2 immunity in vivo is not mediated by classic Thl or Th2 cells but by single-cytokine-producing memory cells.

(Maike D. Hesse, Alexey Y. Karulin, Bernhard O. Boehm, Paul V. Lehmann, and Magdalena Tary-Lehmann. The Journal of Immunology, 2001, 167: 1353-1361.)