Neonatal tolerance to specific Ag is achieved by nonimmunogenic exposure within the first day of life. The mechanism that regulates this tolerance may provide the basis for successful organ transplantation and has recently been thought to be immune deviation from the inflammatory Th1 response to a Th2 response. To test the importance of Th2 cells in the establishment of neonatal tolerance, we examined neonatal tolerance in Stat4- and Stat6-deficient mice, which have reduced Th1 and Th2 cell development, respectively. Neonatal tolerance of both the T and B cell compartments in Stat4- and Stat6-deficient mice was similar to that observed in wild-type mice. Cytokine production shifted from a Th1 to a Th2 response in wild-type mice tolerized as neonates. In contrast, tolerance was observed in Stat6-deficient mice despite maintenance of a Th1 cytokine profile. These results suggest that cells distinct from Stat6-dependent Th2 cells are required for the establishment of neonatal tolerance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy