Cytokine secretion patterns of T cells responding to haptenized-human serum albumin in toluene diisocyanate (TDI)-induced asthma patients

J Korean Med Sci. 1998 Oct;13(5):459-65. doi: 10.3346/jkms.1998.13.5.459.


Our understanding immune response mechanisms to chemical allergens has been limited. It was partly due to the nature of antigens, recognized by T cells, not being well characterized. In the present study, we examined a hypothesis that a reactive chemical allergen, toluene diisocyanate (TDI), react with autologous proteins, thereby inducing T cell responses to the modified self protein in vivo. TDI-human serum albumin (HSA) conjugates were prepared and the presence of antigenic epitopes on the TDI-HSA conjugate was confirmed by IgE ELISA. We examined proliferative and cytokine production responses in TDI-induced asthma patients using the TDI-HSA conjugate as an antigen. Although proliferative responses of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were not detected, production of IFN-gamma was observed in both PBMC and T cell lines obtained from some newly-diagnosed patients by ELISA. Mitogen-inducible IL-4 production was also detected in some T cell lines. Results of this study may have two implications. One is that presentation of haptenized-self protein to the immune system may induce activation of T cells. The other is that T cells responding to this modified self protein may play a role in the pathogenesis of the chemical allergen-induced asthma by producing cytokines such as IFN-gamma and possibly IL-4.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / immunology
  • Asthma / chemically induced
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Cell Division
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Haptens / immunology
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-4 / metabolism*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology
  • Serum Albumin / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Toluene 2,4-Diisocyanate / immunology*


  • Allergens
  • Haptens
  • Serum Albumin
  • Toluene 2,4-Diisocyanate
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-gamma