TH1/TH2 cytokine secretion of first degree relatives of T1DM patients

Micha J. Rapoport*, Tzvi Bistritzer, Dorit Aharoni, Mordechai Weiss, Yoram Ramot, Andreas Buchs, Konstantin Bloch, Pnina Vardi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Th1/Th2 cytokine imbalance has been demonstrated in Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) patients. We characterized the peak levels, secretory pattern and total cytokine production of the Th1 cytokines (IL-2 and IFNγ) and Th2 cytokines (IL-4 and IL-10), by stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells of twenty six first-degree relatives of T1DM patients, and eleven matched controls. At enrollment, first degree relatives demonstrated a significant increase in peak and overall secretion of IL-2; P<0.01 and P<0.005 respectively and IL-4 cytokine; P<0.05 and P<0.01 respectively, as compared to normal controls. Their mean IFNγ secretion increased significantly, P<0.05, after one year while their higher IL-2 and IL-4 secretion remained unchanged. Ab-negative and Ab-positive relatives demonstrated a similar cytokine secretion pattern. Four relatives all Ab positive, developed diabetes: Peak IL-4 levels were low in three and markedly decreased within one year in one of these relatives, while peak IL-2 and IFNγ levels were elevated in all of them. These data demonstrate that secretion of both Th1 and Th2 cytokines is increased in first-degree relatives of T1DM patients independently of their diabetes-associated autoantibodies. The presence of low IL-4 and elevated IL-2 and IFNγ levels in autoAb positive relatives is associated with progression to overt disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-227
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - 7 Jun 2005


  • Cytokines
  • Human
  • Lymphocytes
  • Th1
  • Th2
  • Type I diabetes


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