Cytokines produced by antigen-presenting cells are known to affect the development and cytokine profile of T cells. The immune response modifiers imiquimod and R-848 were previously shown to stimulate human and mouse cultures to secrete interferon-alpha. Results from the present study demonstrate that R-848 and imiquimod are capable of inducing interleukin-12 and interferon-gamma in mouse and human cell cultures. Both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T lymphocytes were responsible for producing IFN-gamma following stimulation with R-848. Macrophages were required for induction of interferon-gamma by R-848 and the cytokines IFN-alpha and IL-12 mediated this response. R-848 and imiquimod were also found to inhibit IL-4 and IL-5 production in mouse and human culture systems. The inhibition of IL-5 in response to R-848 is seen in cultures containing CD4(+) lymphocytes and macrophages and is mediated in part by IFN-alpha. These data suggest that imiquimod and R-848 may have clinical utility in diseases where cell-mediated immune responses are important and in diseases associated with overexpression of IL-4 or IL-5 such as atopic disease.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.