Objective: To investigate cytokine production patterns of T cell lines (TCL) from patients with Churg-Strauss syndrome (CSS).
Methods: Short-term polyclonal TCL were generated from peripheral blood of patients with CSS or Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) and healthy controls (HC). TCL were established in the presence of interleukin-2 (IL-2) and phytohemagglutinin and were phenotypically characterized by flow cytometry. Th1/ Th2 cytokine production by stimulated TCL (72 hours) was analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: TCL that represented the progeny of in vivo-activated T cells from CSS patients displayed a heterogeneous immunophenotype, with a predominance of CD4+ T cells when compared with WG TCL, which were predominantly CD8+. All CSS TCL shared the ability to produce large amounts of interferon-gamma (IFNgamma), IL-4, and IL-13 compared with HC (P = 0.014 for all 3). Production of IL-4 and IL-13 was higher in CSS TCL than in WG TCL (P = 0.014 for both). IL-5 production was up-regulated in WG TCL compared with CSS TCL (P = 0.014). Compared with HC, WG TCL showed increased production of IFNgamma (P = 0.021), IL-5 (P = 0.043), and IL-13 (P = 0.021).
Conclusion: Our results indicate that, while there is evidence for both a type 1 and a type 2 response in CSS, type 2 cytokine production pattern appears to predominate in this disease when compared with WG and HC.