Expression of L-selectin (CD62L) discriminates Th1- and Th2-like cytokine-producing memory CD4+ T cells

Immunology. 1996 Feb;87(2):186-90. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2567.1996.446530.x.


Human memory (CD45RO+) CD4+ T cells can be distinguished into two subpopulations on the basis of expression of the lymph node homing receptor, L-selectin (CD62L). In a prior study we showed that human L-selectin-positive memory T-helper (Th) cells promote the maturation of IgG- and IgA-producing cells by naive B cells. To further elucidate the contribution of memory CD4+ T cells to B-cell differentiation, human memory CD4+ T cells with or without L-selectin expression were evaluated for production of cytokines that participate in regulation of immunoglobulin production. It was found that L-selectin-positive human memory CD4+ T cells produce mainly interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-5, whereas L-selectin-negative CD4+ T cells produce mainly interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma). This profile of cytokine expression coincides with the profile that distinguishes Th1 and Th2 subsets. In contrast to the murine system, IL-10 production was similarly contributed by human L-selectin-positive and -negative memory CD4+ T-cell subpopulations. These results suggest that the human L-selectin-negative and -positive subpopulations of human memory CD4+ T cells contain Th1-like and Th2-like cytokine-producing cells, respectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interleukins / biosynthesis
  • L-Selectin / blood*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukins
  • L-Selectin
  • Interferon-gamma