Regulation of the immune response by nitric oxide differentially produced by T helper type 1 and T helper type 2 cells

Eur J Immunol. 1994 Apr;24(4):980-4. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830240430.


The balance between T helper type 1 (Th 1) and T helper type 2 (Th2) cells determines the outcome of many important diseases. Using cloned murine T cell lines, evidence is provided that Th1, but not Th2, cells can be activated by specific antigens or a T cell mitogen, concanavalin A, to produce large amounts of nitric oxide (NO). Furthermore, NO can inhibit the secretion of interleukin (IL)-2 and interferon-gamma by Th1 cells but has no effect on IL-4 production by Th2 cells. Th1 and Th2 cells can, thus, be distinguished by their differential production of and susceptibility to NO. NO exerts a self-regulatory effect on Th1 cells which are implicated in immunopathology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arginine / analogs & derivatives
  • Arginine / pharmacology
  • Base Sequence
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nitric Oxide / physiology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / physiology*
  • omega-N-Methylarginine


  • omega-N-Methylarginine
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Arginine