Mucosal tolerance is associated with, but independent of, up-regulation Th2 responses

Immunology. 1997 Nov;92(3):328-33. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2567.1997.00356.x.


Intranasal administration of protein antigen is an efficient way to induce mucosal tolerance. Suppressive mechanisms that might be involved in this phenomenon include down-regulation of T-helper type-1 (Th1)-mediated processes by Th2 cells. However, since Th2 responses can also be subjected to mucosal tolerance, we wanted to investigate whether suppression of a typical Th1 response, such as a delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reaction by intranasal tolerance induction, was causally related to up-regulation of Th2 responses. We therefore treated mice either systemically or locally with anti-interleukin-4 (IL-4) or anti-IL-10 antibodies before intranasal tolerance induction or before sensitization for DTH to see whether we could prevent or abrogate tolerance. Although the up-regulation of antigen-specific IgE levels in tolerant mice could be prevented by anti-IL-4 treatment, the extent of tolerance as measured by suppression of DTH was not affected. We therefore conclude that up-regulation of Th2 responses observed after intranasal tolerance induction is an additional or consequential rather than a necessary reaction.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / immunology
  • Immune Tolerance*
  • Immunity, Mucosal*
  • Immunoglobulin E / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulin G / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-10 / immunology
  • Interleukin-4 / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*
  • Up-Regulation / immunology*


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interleukin-4
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Ovalbumin