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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Diesel exhaust particles suppress in vivo IFN-gamma production by inhibiting cytokine effects on NK and NKT cells.

Diesel exhaust particles (DEP) have strong, selective Th2 adjuvant activity when inhaled with conventional Ags. We used a novel technique for measuring in vivo cytokine production to investigate possible mechanisms by which DEP might promote a Th2 response. Injection of DEP i.p. stimulated IL-6 secretion, but failed to increase IL-4, IL-10, or TNF-alpha secretion, and decreased basal levels of IFN-gamma. When injected with or before LPS, DEP had little effect on the LPS-induced TNF-alpha responses, but partially inhibited the LPS-induced IL-10 response and strongly inhibited the LPS-induced IFN-gamma response. DEP also inhibited the IFN-gamma responses to IL-12, IL-12 plus IL-18, IL-2, and poly(I.C). DEP treatment had little effect on the percentages of NK and NKT cells in the spleen, but inhibited LPS-induced IFN-gamma production by splenic NK and NKT cells. In contrast, DEP failed to inhibit the IFN-gamma response by anti-CD3 mAb-activated NKT cells. Taken together, these observations suggest that DEP inhibit Toll-like receptor ligand- induced IFN-gamma responses by interfering with cytokine signaling pathways that stimulate NK and NKT cells to produce IFN-gamma. Our observations also suggest that DEP may promote a Th2 response by stimulating production of inflammatory cytokines while simultaneously inhibiting production of IFN-gamma, and raise the possibility that the same mechanisms contribute to the association between DEP exposure and asthma.[1]


  1. Diesel exhaust particles suppress in vivo IFN-gamma production by inhibiting cytokine effects on NK and NKT cells. Finkelman, F.D., Yang, M., Orekhova, T., Clyne, E., Bernstein, J., Whitekus, M., Diaz-Sanchez, D., Morris, S.C. J. Immunol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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