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Mechanism of TCDD-induced suppression of antibody production: effect on T cell-derived cytokine production in the primary immune reaction of mice

, : Mechanism of TCDD-induced suppression of antibody production: effect on T cell-derived cytokine production in the primary immune reaction of mice. Toxicological Sciences 70(1): 46-54

2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is known to suppress antigen-specific antibody production in humoral immune reactions, but the precise mechanism remains unclear. Since T cell activation and subsequent production of type 2 helper T (Th2) cell-derived cytokines are required for antigen-specific antibody production in humoral immunity, we examined the effects of TCDD on splenic T cell numbers, T cell growth factor IL-2 production, and Th2 cell-derived cytokine production. C57BL/6N mice were orally given TCDD (20 microg/kg) or vehicle, and immediately intraperitoneally immunized with ovalbumin (OVA) adsorbed to alum, and cellular changes in the spleen and cytokine production by spleen cells were investigated from Day 1 to Day 14. In vehicle-control mice the numbers of splenic CD3(+) T cells increased from Day 7 onward, but no increase was observed in the TCDD-exposed mice. When spleen cells from control mice were cultured and restimulated with OVA ex vivo, a significant amount of IL-2 was found from Day 1, but it decreased on Day 7, whereas TCDD exposure promptly suppressed the increase on Day 4. TCDD exposure significantly suppressed the production of Th2 cell-derived cytokines IL-4, IL-5, and IL-6, which were prominently increased from Day 4 onward in control mice. The dose-dependent study showed that IL-5 production was significantly suppressed in a dose-dependent manner starting at 1 microg/kg TCDD. Moreover, separation and reconstitution studies showed that the TCDD-induced suppression of IL-5 production was due to the impaired function of T cells rather than that of antigen-presenting cells. The results of this study suggest that TCDD-induced suppression of T cell activation and Th2-type cytokine production is involved in the impairment of antigen-specific antibody production.


PMID: 12388834

DOI: 10.1093/toxsci/70.1.46

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