Kinetics of cell infiltration and cytokine messenger RNA expression after intradermal challenge with allergen and tuberculin in the same atopic individuals

Anne Tsicopoulos, Qutayba Hamid, Angela Franciska Haczku, Mikila R. Jacobson, Stephen R. Durham, Janet North, Julia Barkans, Christopher J. Corrigan, Qiu Meng, Redwan Moqbel, A. Barry Kay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Background: Previous studies, in which one time point was used, have shown that cells infiltrating skin biopsy specimens taken during allergen-induced late-phase responses (LPR) had a TH2-like (interleukin-4 [IL]-4 and IL-5 mRNA+) cytokine profile, whereas in delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) there was a predominant TH1-type pattern. Objective: The study was designed to examine the kinetics of accumulation of inflammatory cells and cells expressing mRNA for TH2- or TH1-type cytokines in LPR and DTH elicited simultaneously in the same subjects. Methods: Immunocytochemistry (alkaline phosphatase anti-alkaline phosphatase technique) and in situ hybridization were used to analyze skin biopsy specimens taken during allergen-induced LPR. Results: In LPR elevated numbers of CD3+ and CD4+ cells, eosinophils, neutrophils, and IL-4 and IL-5 mRNA+ cells were detected as early as 1 hour after allergen challenge, with a peak at 6 hours, which was maintained for up to 96 hours. A small but significant delayed increase in macrophages, CD8+ and CD25+ cells, and IL-2 and Interferon-γ mRNA+ cells was also observed, but only at the 48-hour and 96-hour time points. In contrast, in DTH the numbers of CD3+, CD4+, and mRNA+ cells for IL-2 and interferon-γ were not elevated until 24 hours after challenge and peaked at 48 hours after injection. At 48 hours there was an additional small but significant increase in IL-4 and IL-5 mRNA+ cells. For both LPR and DTH the kinetics of the increases in inflammatory cells and cytokine mRNA-expressing cells paralleled the clinical response. Conclusions: In LPR accumulation of T cells and granulocytes, together with cells expressing mRNA encoding for TH2-type cytokines, is relatively rapid (i.e., within 1 to 6 hours), whereas in DTH the T cell/macrophage infiltration and appearance of cells expressing TH1-type cytokines are not apparent until 24 to 48 hours. In LPR there is a TH1-type (or possibly TH0) component at 48 to 96 hours, and in DTH there is an additional TH2 TH0 response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)764-772
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • cytokine
  • eosinophil
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • kinetics
  • late-phase response
  • lymphocyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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