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  Authority of Polish Society of Allergology

vol 3. no 2. June 1998  

 Diagnostics and treatment of allergy
The role of Th1 and Th2 lymphocytes in atopic diseases
Grażyna Józefowicz, Piotr Kuna

Klinika Pneumonologii i Alergologii Instytutu Medycyny Wewnętrznej Akademii Medycznej, ul. Kopcińskiego 22, 90-153 Łódź

Th1 and Th2 lymphocytes are subsets of activated T helper lymphocytes. They were defined on their cytokine production basis. Th1 lymphocytes, but not Th2, produce Il-2, IFN-? and TNF-?, while Il-4, Il-5 and Il-13 are produced exclusively by Th2 subset. As a result, Th1 subset stimulates mainly cellular immunity. Th2, on the other hand, stimulates antibody synthesis, particularly that of IgE, as well as due to Il-5 production enhances eosinophils maturation and survival. Differentiation into Th subsets takes place during their antigen activation process and factors promoting the one Th subset development simultanously inhibit development of the other. The majority of human Th lymphocytes tend to differentiate into Th1 type. Th2 type, however, rises in atopic diseases sufferers from Th stimulated by different antigens, especially by allergens. Therefore it is justified to hypothesize that aberrant differentiation of Th lymphocytes, as to Th2 instead of Th1 domination, underlies atopic diseases development. Restoration of physiological proportion between the two should give curative effect then.


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