Differential production of interferon-gamma and interleukin-4 in response to Th1- and Th2-stimulating pathogens by gamma delta T cells in vivo

Nature. 1995 Jan 19;373(6511):255-7. doi: 10.1038/373255a0.


Exposure to various pathogens can stimulate at least two patterns of cytokine production by CD4-positive T cells. Responses that result in secretion of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), lymphotoxin and interleukin-2 (IL-2) are classified as T-helper-1 (Th1); CD4+ T-cell production of IL-4, IL-5, IL-9, IL-10 and IL-13 is called a T-helper-2 response (Th2). Differentiation of CD4+ T cells into either Th1 or Th2 cells is influenced by the cytokine milieu in which the initial antigen priming occurs. Here we use flow cytometry to identify the presence of intracellular cytokines (cytoflow) and analyse T-cell production of IFN-gamma and IL-4 from mice infected with Listeria monocytogenes or Nippostrongylus brasiliensis. We show that T cells bearing gamma delta receptors discriminate early in infection between these two pathogens by producing cytokines associated with the appropriate T-helper response. Our results demonstrate that gamma delta T cells are involved in establishing primary immune responses.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-4 / biosynthesis*
  • Listeriosis / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Nippostrongylus / immunology
  • Peritoneum / cytology
  • Peritoneum / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / immunology
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Strongylida Infections / immunology*
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-gamma