Improved analytical tools have revealed that the development and expression of a Th2 immune response can be broken down into distinct stages with respect to the cytokine microenvironment that is required. Although IL-4 and its STAT6-signalling pathway are critical for the expression of Th2 effector immune responses in peripheral tissues such as the skin, lung and gut, IL-4 and STAT6 signalling are not required for the initial generation of IL-4-producing Th2 cells in the lymph node. This finding reveals that we have yet to identify the key cytokine or microenvironment that stimulates the development of this most intriguing CD4 T-helper subset and emphasises the tissue specificity and timing of IL-4/STAT6-dependent Th2 effector responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology