Bacille Calmette Guérin and interleukin-12 down-modulate interleukin-4-producing CD4+ NK1+ T lymphocytes

Eur J Immunol. 1997 Jan;27(1):183-8. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830270127.


Early production of interleukin-12 (IL-12) by macrophages and of IL-4 from CD4+ NK1+ T cells influence development of the acquired immune response against infectious agents, namely differentiation of interferon-gamma-secreting T helper 1 (Th1) cells against intracellular pathogens and of IL-4-producing Th2 cells against helminths. Evidence has been presented for transient convertibility of Th1 and Th2 cells in the presence of the polarizing cytokines IL-4 or IL-12, respectively. Moreover, it is likely that IL-4 dominates over IL-12, suggesting that Th2 cell development is preferred in the presence of both cytokines. Mycobacterium bovis Bacille Calmette Guerin (BCG) and IL-12 are potent inducers of Th1 responses. Here we show that BCG and IL-12 down-modulate IL-4-producing CD4+ NK1+ TCR alpha/beta(intermediate) liver lymphocytes. Our data provide further insights into the mechanisms by which BCG and IL-12 may promote unrestricted development of Th1 responses in vivo: BCG and IL-12 not only provide the positive stimuli for Th1 cell differentiation, but also interfere with antagonizing signals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens / analysis
  • Antigens, Surface
  • BCG Vaccine / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Female
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-12 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-12 / immunology*
  • Interleukin-4 / biosynthesis*
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Liver / immunology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains / immunology
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily B
  • Proteins / analysis
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / analysis
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis


  • Antigens
  • Antigens, Surface
  • BCG Vaccine
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily B
  • Proteins
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interleukin-12
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-gamma