Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 10201895
J. Immunol. 1999 Apr;162(7):3790-4
It is generally accepted that immunologically naive T cells display a very restricted cytokine production profile consisting mainly of IL-2, which is used as an autocrine growth factor. Here we report that activated naive CD4+ T cells, of neonatal or adult origin, express very high levels of soluble lymphotoxin (LT) alpha (LTalpha3), as determined by ELISA, RNase protection assay, and intracytoplasmic staining. Besides LTalpha3 and IL-2, these cells also produce high levels of TNF-alpha together with significant amounts of IFN-gamma and IL-13. Naive cells also express LTbeta mRNA and the membrane form of LTalpha (LTalphabeta). On average, naive CD4+ T cells secrete four times more LTalpha3 than Th1-like cells, twice more than naive CD8+ T cells, and ten times more than B cells. Thus, naive T cells express a large spectrum of cytokines, mainly of the Th1 type, and the very high levels of LTalpha3/TNF-alpha that they release may play an hitherto unsuspected role in the early stage of T cell-dependent immune responses.