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Th1 and Th2 cell differentiation

Immunity to different classes of microorganisms is orchestrated by separate lineages of effector T helper (TH)-cells, which differentiate from naive CD4+ precursor cells in response to cues provided by antigen presenting cells (APC) and include T helper type 1 (Th1) and Th2. Th1 cells are characterized by the transcription factor T-bet and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 4, and the production of IFN-gamma. These cells stimulate strong cell-mediated immune responses, particularly against intracellular pathogens. On the other hand, transcription factors like GATA-3 and STAT6 drive the generation of Th2 cells that produce IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13 and are necessary for inducing the humoral response to combat parasitic helminths (type 2 immunity) and isotype switching to IgG1 and IgE. The balance between Th1/Th2 subsets determines the susceptibility to disease states, where the improper development of Th2 cells can lead to allergy, while an overactive Th1 response can lead to autoimmunity.

from KEGG source record: hsa04658
Type: pathway
Taxonomic scope
organism-specific biosystem
Homo sapiens

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