Complex pattern of Th1 and Th2 activation with a preferential increase of autoreactive Th1 cells in BALB/c mice with proteoglycan (aggrecan)-induced arthritis

K. Holló, Tibor T. Glant, M. Garzó, A. Finnegan, K. Mikecz, E. Buzás

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Citations (Scopus)


The central role of CD4+ T cells and the balance between T helper (Th) subpopulations in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases have been extensively studied. Proteoglycan (aggrecan)-induced arthritis (PGIA) is a murine model for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which is characterized by a Th1 dominance at the onset of the disease. In addition to CD4+ T cells; antigen- presenting B cells and autoantibodies seem to play an important role in the development and regulation of PGIA. To identify proteoglycan-specific CD4+ T cell subsets and Th1- and Th2-supported antibody isotypes during the progression of PGIA, spleen cells of proteoglycan-immunized BALB/c mice were harvested at different times of immunization, and at different stages of the disease, and their cytokine production and antigen-specific antibody isotype profiles were determined by enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assays. Both Th1 and Th2 cytokine-producing cells, with the predominance of IL-4/IL-5- secreting cells, were detected during the prearthritic stage, and a shift toward a Th1 dominance was observed at the time of onset of arthritis. Tissue homogenates of acutely inflamed joints contained significantly higher levels of interferon-gamma than IL-4. The prearthritic period and both the acute and chronic phases of joint inflammation were characterized by IgG1 dominance in the sera and this Correlated with the number of IgG1-secreting B cells in the spleen. However, the ratio of autoreactive IgG1/IgG2a-secreting cells decreased in arthritic animals. These results indicate the activation and possible regulatory roles of both Th1 and Th2 subsets in the autoimmune process, with the necessity of a relative increase of autoreactive Th1 cells for the induction of joint inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-173
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Aggrecan
  • Arthritis
  • Autoimmune
  • BALB/c
  • Isotype
  • Proteoglycan
  • Th1/Th2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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