Th1 and Th2 T helper cell subsets affect patterns of injury and outcomes in glomerulonephritis

Kidney Int. 1999 Apr;55(4):1198-216. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1755.1999.00369.x.


The recognition that human immune responses can be directed by two different subsets of T helper cells (Th1 and Th2) has been an important development in modern immunology. Immune responses polarized by either the Th1 or Th2 subset predominance result in different inflammatory effector pathways and disease outcomes. Many autoimmune diseases are associated with either Th1- or Th2- polarized immune responses. Although these different immune response patterns are relevant to glomerulonephritis (GN), little attention has been paid to the consequences of Th1 or Th2 predominance of nephritogenic immune responses for the pattern and outcome of GN. Unlike other autoimmune conditions, GN results from a variety of different immune responses and has a range of histologic features and immune effectors in glomeruli. This review assesses the data available from studies of experimental and human GN that address the Th1 or Th2 predominance of nephritogenic immune responses and their relevance to the different histopathological patterns and outcomes of GN. In particular, the evidence that Th1-predominant nephritogenic immune responses are associated with severe proliferative and crescentic GN is presented.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex / immunology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Glomerulonephritis / immunology*
  • Glomerulonephritis / pathology*
  • Glomerulonephritis / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / metabolism
  • Kidney Glomerulus / immunology
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology
  • Lupus Vulgaris / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antigen-Antibody Complex
  • Immunoglobulin A