Impaired Interleukin 4 Signaling in T Helper Type 1 Cells

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Cluster of differentation (CD)4+ T helper cells (Th)1s fail to produce interleukin(IL)-4. Even if restimulated in the presence of IL-4, a condition that induces IL-4-producing capacity in naive CD4+ T cells, Th1s fail to become IL-4 producers. We report that Th1 cells have a major impairment in IL-4 signaling. When compared to both Th2s and naive T cells, they display a striking diminution in phosphorylation of Stat6. They also show reduced phosphorylation of Janus kinase (JAK)-3 and insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-2 when compared to Th2s. Stat6 and JAK-3 are present in equivalent amounts in Th1s and Th2s, but IRS-2 protein levels are much lower in Th1s than in Th2s. Altered sensitivity to IL-4, the major inducer of the Th2 phenotype, may explain the stability of the Th1 state.

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