Rheumatoid inflammatory T-cell clones express mostly Th1 but also Th2 and mixed (Th0-like) cytokine patterns

Scand J Immunol. 1993 Jul;38(1):75-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3083.1993.tb01696.x.


This study was performed in order to characterize whether T cells from rheumatoid synovial inflammation belong to the Th1- or Th2-like functional subsets. Cytokine production was studied in 26 CD4+ alpha beta+ and 2 CD8+ alpha beta T-cell clones from the synovial fluid, the synovial membrane and peripheral blood of 5 patients. Fifteen of the CD4+ clones were raised against various mycobacterial antigens and 11 CD4+ clones and 2 CD8+ clones were raised unspecifically using PHA and/or IL-2. The specificities of these clones are not known. In the mycobacterial antigen-specific group, all CD4+ alpha beta T-cell clones produced IFN-gamma at high levels, while the production of IL-4 was generally absent or low (< 1 ng/ml), consistent with a Th1-like profile. Some of these clones, however, also produced various amounts of IL-10 which has been regarded as a Th2 product but can be produced also in lower amounts by Th1 cells. One HSP-65-specific clone produced levels of IL-4 and IL-10 in the same order as that of IFN-gamma, thus appearing to be Th0-like. Among the 11 unspecific CD4+ clones, 7 showed a Th1-like pattern but with lower levels of IFN-gamma than the antigen-specific clones. However, three clones did not produce any IFN-gamma activity but produced IL-4 and one of them also produced distinct amounts of IL-10, compatible with a Th2-like pattern. In addition, one of the clones also showed an almost equally strong IFN-gamma and IL-4 production, thus most likely representing a Th0-like clone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antigens, Surface / immunology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • Bacterial Proteins*
  • CD4 Antigens / immunology
  • CD8 Antigens / immunology
  • Chaperonin 60
  • Chaperonins*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clone Cells / metabolism*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-4 / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / immunology*
  • Mycobacterium / immunology
  • Synovial Fluid / immunology*
  • Synovial Membrane / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Thy-1 Antigens


  • Antigens, Surface
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • CD4 Antigens
  • CD8 Antigens
  • Chaperonin 60
  • Cytokines
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Thy-1 Antigens
  • heat-shock protein 65, Mycobacterium
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Chaperonins