Th2 shift in mononeuritis multiplex and increase of Th2 cells in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy: an intracellular cytokine analysis

J Neurol Sci. 2001 Dec 15;193(1):49-52. doi: 10.1016/s0022-510x(01)00603-7.


To elucidate the T helper 1 (Th1)/T helper 2 (Th2) balance in various inflammatory neuropathies, we measured the ratio of intracellular interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)-positive to IL-4-positive cells (intracellular IFN-gamma/IL-4 ratio) by flow cytometry in peripheral blood CD4(+) T cells of 14 patients with mononeuritis multiplex (MNM), 12 patients with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), 10 patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), 23 patients with neurodegenerative disorders and 36 healthy controls by intracellular labeling. The patients with MNM showed a significantly lower intracellular IFN-gamma/IL-4 ratio (P<0.05) and higher IL-4(+)/IFN-gamma(-) cell percentages (P<0.05) than the controls. The increase of IL-4(+)/IFN-gamma(-) cell percentages was especially prominent in MNM of unknown etiology (P<0.005). The patients with CIDP also showed significantly higher IL-4(+)/IFN-gamma(-) cell percentages (P<0.05) than the controls. The IL-4(+)/IFN-gamma(-) cell percentages were increased in some patients with GBS, but the difference was not significant compared with the controls. Thus, our results suggest that a Th2 shift is a characteristic of MNM and may play an important role in the development of the disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / blood
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / immunology
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay
  • Interferon-gamma / blood
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology*
  • Interleukin-4 / blood
  • Interleukin-4 / immunology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mononeuropathies / blood
  • Mononeuropathies / immunology*
  • Mononeuropathies / physiopathology
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / blood
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / immunology
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / physiopathology
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating / blood
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating / immunology*
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating / physiopathology
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Th1 Cells / metabolism
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation / immunology


  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-gamma