Cytokine profiles in Wegener's granulomatosis: predominance of type 1 (Th1) in the granulomatous inflammation

Arthritis Rheum. 1999 Apr;42(4):742-50. doi: 10.1002/1529-0131(199904)42:4<742::AID-ANR18>3.0.CO;2-I.


Objective: To determine whether a specific cytokine pattern (type 1 [Th1] or type 2 [Th2]) predominates in Wegener's granulomatosis (WG), by evaluating interferon-gamma (IFNgamma) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) expression in different compartments of the body (i.e., biopsied nasal mucosal tissue [NBS], bronchoalveolar lavage [BAL] fluid, and peripheral blood [PB]) and comparing the findings with those in disease and healthy control subjects.

Methods: Competitive reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were used to assess IFNgamma and IL-4 expression in T cell clones (TCC), T cell lines (TCL), and polyclonal CD4+ and CD8+ cells derived from NBS, BAL, and PB.

Results: Patients with WG and chronic rhinitis were found to share in situ production of messenger RNA (mRNA) specific for IFNgamma (Th1). Only 2 patients with WG expressed IL-4, whereas IL-4 mRNA PCR products were found in inflamed tissues of the disease control patients. The granuloma-derived T cells of WG patients produced only IFNgamma, while TCC, TCL, and CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from BAL and PB produced mainly IFNgamma.

Conclusion: Our data indicate that a Thl cytokine pattern predominates in the granulomatous inflammation in patients with WG.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Clone Cells
  • DNA Probes
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Gene Expression / immunology
  • Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Interferon-gamma / genetics*
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Interleukin-4 / genetics*
  • Interleukin-4 / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Th1 Cells / cytology
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / cytology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology
  • Transcription, Genetic / immunology


  • DNA Probes
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-gamma