Signaling and transcription in T helper development

Annu Rev Immunol. 2000;18:451-94. doi: 10.1146/annurev.immunol.18.1.451.


The recognition of polarized T cell subsets defined by cytokine production was followed by a search to define the factors controlling this phenomenon. Suitable in vitro systems allowed the development of cytokine "recipes" that induced rapid polarization of naïve T cells into Th1 or Th2 populations. The next phase of work over the past several years has begun to define the intracellular processes set into motion during Th1/Th2 development, particularly by the strongly polarizing cytokines IL-12 and IL-4. Although somewhat incomplete, what has emerged is a richly detailed tapestry of signaling and transcription, controlling an important T cell developmental switch. In addition several new mediators of control have emerged, including IL-18, the intriguing Th2-selective T1/ST2 product, and heterogeneity in dendritic cells capable of directing cytokine-independent Th development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / immunology
  • Cell Division
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / immunology
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Interferon Type I / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-1 / immunology
  • Interleukin-12 / genetics
  • Interleukin-13 / genetics
  • Interleukin-4 / genetics
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins*
  • Repressor Proteins*
  • STAT4 Transcription Factor
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling 1 Protein
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling Proteins
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / cytology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology*
  • Trans-Activators / immunology
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Interferon Type I
  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-13
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • SOCS1 protein, human
  • STAT4 Transcription Factor
  • STAT4 protein, human
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling 1 Protein
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Interleukin-12
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-gamma