Distinct gene expression profiles of human type 1 and type 2 T helper cells


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The development and activation of CD4 + helper T cell (Th) subsets with distinct patterns of unbalanced production of cytokines play an important part in infectious, allergic and autoimmune diseases. Human neonatal cord blood CD4 + Th cells can be polarized into type 1 or type 2-like effector cells in vitro by culturing them in the presence of interleukin (IL)-12 or IL-4, respectively. We have exploited this experimental system to identify marker genes that are differentially expressed by polarized Th1 and Th2 cells. An oligonucleotide microarray specifically designed to screen for inflammation-related candidate genes was used and the differential expression was further validated with a quantitative real-time RT-PCR method. Results In addition to the previously described marker genes of Th cells, we report subtle changes in the expression of several other genes that represent growth factors, receptors and other signaling molecules in polarized Th1 and Th2 cell subsets. Additionally, we describe a novel set of genes as Th1/Th2 differentiation markers for cells activated by anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 antibodies. Conclusions This study demonstrates the power of the targeted use of microarrays in combination with quantitative real-time RT-PCR in identifying and validating new marker genes for gene expression studies.



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Published 01 January 2001
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Published: 21 June 2001 GenomeBiology2001,2(7):research0022.1–0022.11 The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at http://genomebiology.com/2001/2/7/research/0022 © 2001 Hamalainenet al., licensee BioMed Central Ltd (Print ISSN 14656906; Online ISSN 14656914)
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Received: 14 March 2001 Revised: 26 April 2001 Accepted: 15 May 2001
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