Deficient translocation of c-Rel is associated with impaired Th1 cytokine production in T cells from atopic dermatitis patients

Dieckhoff K, Graf P, Beinhauer B, Schwaerzler C, Carballido JM, Neumann C, Zachmann K and Jung T
Source: Exp Dermatol
Publication Date: (2005)
Issue: 14(1): 17-25
Research Area:
Dermatology/Tissue Engineering
Immunotherapy / Hematology
Cells used in publication:
T cell, human peripheral blood unstim.
Species: human
Tissue Origin: blood
Nucleofector® I/II/2b
Decreased production of T helper type 1 (Th1) cytokines, such as interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) or interleukin-2 (IL-2), is a hallmark of atopic diseases. While accessory signals from antigen-presenting cells may be missing, T cells themselves may be suppressed in their ability to produce substantial amounts of Th1 cytokines. We show, in this study, that T cell receptor (TCR)-activated T cells from atopic dermatitis (AD) patients proliferate less than control T cells and produce lower amounts of IFN-gamma and IL-2, but comparable amounts of IL-4. Because mice lacking the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) transcription factors - p65 or c-Rel - show reduced Th1, but undisturbed Th2 responses, we investigated the role of c-Rel and p65 for Th1 cytokine production in T cells from healthy and severe AD patients. TCR-activated primary T cells from healthy donors treated with c-Rel antisense oligonucleotides produced lower levels of IL-2 and IFN-gamma and proliferated less efficiently than the corresponding control T cells. Moreover, transfection of primary T cells with c-Rel or p65 enhanced proliferation and production of IL-2 and IFN-gamma. Nuclear extracts of activated primary T cells from AD donors bound weakly to NF-kappaB-specific oligonucleotides, compared to extracts from healthy control T cells. Western blotting studies revealed that nuclear, but not cytosolic, extracts from T cells of AD patients lacked significant amounts of c-Rel and p65. T cell clones derived from AD patients failed to sufficiently translocate c-Rel and p65 into the nucleus following activation. Thus, impaired nuclear translocation of c-Rel and p65 may determine an impaired Th1 cytokine response in AD.