Gene expression profile of Th1 and Th2 cytokines and their receptors in human and nonhuman primates

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To date comparative knowledge concerning gene expression profiles of T-helper 1(Th1)/Th2 cytokines and their receptors between human and non-human primates is scarce.


We assessed the gene expression level of both Th1 [interleukin-4(IL-4)] and Th2 [IL-12, interferon- γ(IFN-γ)] cytokines and the receptors (IL-4Rα, IFN-γR1, IFN-γR2) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from humans, chimpanzee, baboon, and macaque by a quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction(RT-PCR).


The expression level of the IFN-γ gene was markedly lower in humans than that in non-human primates. The IL-4 gene expression was significantly higher, whereas that of IL-12 was distinctly lower, in human/chimpanzee than in baboon/macaque. The IFN-γR2 gene expression was especially higher in the macaque than in the other three primates.


These results indicate distinct gene expression of Th1/Th2 cytokines and their receptors in primates. These also suggest characteristic differences in Th1/Th2 immune responses affecting host defense and/or disease susceptibility among these primates.

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