T cell subsets and their signature cytokines in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases

Itay Raphael, Saisha Nalawade, Todd N. Eagar, Thomas G. Forsthuber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

320 Scopus citations

Abstract

CD4<sup>+</sup> T helper (Th) cells are critical for proper immune cell homeostasis and host defense, but are also major contributors to pathology of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Since the discovery of the Th1/Th2 dichotomy, many additional Th subsets were discovered, each with a unique cytokine profile, functional properties, and presumed role in autoimmune tissue pathology. This includes Th1, Th2, Th17, Th22, Th9, and Treg cells which are characterized by specific cytokine profiles. Cytokines produced by these Th subsets play a critical role in immune cell differentiation, effector subset commitment, and in directing the effector response. Cytokines are often categorized into proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines and linked to Th subsets expressing them. This article reviews the different Th subsets in terms of cytokine profiles, how these cytokines influence and shape the immune response, and their relative roles in promoting pathology in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Furthermore, we will discuss whether Th cell pathogenicity can be defined solely based on their cytokine profiles and whether rigid definition of a Th cell subset by its cytokine profile is helpful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-17
Number of pages13
JournalCytokine
Volume74
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

Keywords

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Signature cytokine
  • T cell subset

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Hematology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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