Th1 and Th2 responses: what are they?BMJ 2000; 321 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7258.424 (Published 12 August 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:424
- Abi Berger, science editor
Cytokines are the hormonal messengers responsible for most of the biological effects in the immune system, such as cell mediated immunity and allergic type responses. Although they are numerous, cytokines can be functionally divided into two groups: those that are proinflammatory and those that are essentially anti-inflammatory but that promote allergic responses.
T lymphocytes are a major source of cytokines. These cells bear antigen specific receptors on their cell surface to allow recognition of foreign pathogens. They can also recognise normal tissue during episodes of autoimmune diseases. There are two main subsets of T lymphocytes, distinguished by the presence of cell surface molecules known as CD4 and CD8. T lymphocytes expressing CD4 …