Characterization of cytokine‐producing cells in mucosal effector sites: CD3+ T cells of Th1 and Th2 type in salivary gland‐associated tissues

Academic Article


  • The major purpose of this study was to elucidate Th1 [interferon (IFN)‐γ and interleukin (IL)‐2] and Th2 (IL‐4, IL‐5 and IL‐6) cytokine‐producing CD3+ T cells in salivary glands, which are the major mucosal effector tissues in the oral region. Thus, CD3+ T cells were isolated from salivary gland‐associated tissues (SGAT) which consist of the submandibular gland (SMG: ∼46%), the periglandular lymph node (PGLN: ∼ 72 %), and the cervical lymph node (CLN: ∼ 90%). When SMG CD3+ T cells were examined by Th1 and Th2 cytokine‐specific ELISPOT and reverse transcriptase‐polymerase chain reaction assay, high levels of both cytokine‐specific spot‐forming cells (SFC) and mRNA for IFN‐γ, and for IL‐5 and IL‐6 were noted as representative Th1 or Th2 cytokines, respectively. Following stimulation with concanavalin A (Con A), SMG CD3+ T cells expressed mRNA and produced lymphokines for an array of Th1 (IFN‐γ and IL‐2) and Th2 (IL‐4, IL‐5 and IL‐6) cytokines. In comparison to the SMG CD3+ T cells, PGLN and CLN contain lower numbers of IFN‐γ‐, IL‐5‐ and IL‐6‐producing T cells. When these two tissues were compared, PGLN CD3+ T cells contained higher numbers of cytokine‐secreting cells than CLN. Further, IL‐2 and IL‐4 SFC and mRNA were also noted in addition to IFN‐γ, IL‐5 and IL‐6 after Con A activation. These findings showed that CD3+ T cells in SGAT, especially the SMG, are programmed to produce IFN‐γ, and IL‐5 and IL‐6 as Th1 and Th2 cytokines, respectively in vivo, although these cells are capable of producing other Th1 and Th2 cytokines after receiving appropriate T cell activation signals. Copyright © 1994 WILEY‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hiroi T; Fujihashi K; McGhee JR; Kiyono H
  • Start Page

  • 2653
  • End Page

  • 2658
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 11