T helper 1 (Th1) and Th2 characteristics start to develop during T cell priming and are associated with an immediate ability to induce immunoglobulin class switching

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  • S A Luther
  • D M Sze
  • R K Choy
  • D R Taylor
  • H Acha-Orbea


The respective production of specific immunoglobulin (Ig)G2a or IgG1 within 5 d of primary immunization with Swiss type mouse mammary tumor virus [MMTV(SW)] or haptenated protein provides a model for the development of T helper 1 (Th1) and Th2 responses. The antibody-producing cells arise from cognate T cell B cell interaction, revealed by the respective induction of Cgamma2a and Cgamma1 switch transcript production, on the third day after immunization. T cell proliferation and upregulation of mRNA for interferon gamma in response to MMTV(SW) and interleukin 4 in response to haptenated protein also starts during this day. It follows that there is minimal delay in these responses between T cell priming and the onset of cognate interaction between T and B cells leading to class switching and exponential growth. The Th1 or Th2 profile is at least partially established at the time of the first cognate T cell interaction with B cells in the T zone. The addition of killed Bordetella pertussis to the hapten-protein induces nonhapten-specific IgG2a and IgG1 plasma cells, whereas the anti-hapten response continues to be IgG1 dominated. This indicates that a Th2 response to hapten-protein can proceed in a node where there is substantial Th1 activity.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1193-204
Number of pages12
JournalThe Journal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 1998


  • Animals, Interferon-gamma, Haptens, Mammary Tumor Virus, Mouse, Spleen, Immunoglobulin Class Switching, Mice, Th2 Cells, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Vaccination, Lymphocyte Activation, Bordetella pertussis, Plasma Cells, Germinal Center, Interleukin-4, Lymph Nodes, gamma-Globulins, Th1 Cells