The balance of Th1/Th2 cytokines in rheumatoid arthritis

Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2001 Dec;15(5):677-91. doi: 10.1053/berh.2001.0187.


It has been suggested that rheumatoid inflammation is mediated by activated pro-inflammatory T helper type I cells. In contrast, immunomodulatory T helper type 2 cells and their cytokines, in particular interleukin-4, are rarely found. This chapter reviews the concept of the Th1/Th2 dichotomy and summarizes the functions of the signature cytokines of the T helper subsets. We discuss current knowledge of the immunopathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and its related animal model, collagen induced arthritis, with regard to the Th1/Th2 paradigm. The accumulating evidence for a T helper type 1 driven inflammation and the implications for future therapy are delineated.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Arthritis, Experimental / immunology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • Cytokines / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Cytokines