Objective: To determine whether growth hormone (GH) influences the production of type 1 T-helper (Th1) and type 2 T-helper (Th2) cytokine responses after burn. Summary Background Data: GH has been shown to influence immunoregulation. The authors previously reported improved mortality in burned mice treated with GH after infection with herpesvirus. Other work has shown that impaired immunity after burn was characterized by conversion of Th cell populations from Th1 cells to Th2 cells, suggesting an increased susceptibility of patients with burns to infection. Methods: The production of Th1 and Th2 cytokine from isolated splenic lymphocytes taken from GH- treated burned mice was measured. Results: At 1 and 11 days after burn, Th1 cytokine production by splenic lymphocytes from burned mice treated with GH was greater than in mice receiving saline. In fact, Th1 cytokine production was greater than that of nonburned mice. In addition, the production of Th2 cytokines was decreased. Conclusions: Results suggest that the Th1/Th2 response is altered after burn, and this can be reversed with GH. GH, therefore, may improve resistance to infection in patients with burns.
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