2. Role of Th2 Cells in the Allergic Diathesis

  1. Kenji Izuhara MD, PhD1,
  2. Stephen T. Holgate MD, DSc, FMedSci2 and
  3. Marsha Wills-Karp PhD3
  1. Marsha Wills-karp

Published Online: 27 JUL 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444346688.ch2

Inflammation and Allergy Drug Design

Inflammation and Allergy Drug Design

How to Cite

Wills-karp, M. (2011) Role of Th2 Cells in the Allergic Diathesis, in Inflammation and Allergy Drug Design (eds K. Izuhara, S. T. Holgate and M. Wills-Karp), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444346688.ch2

Editor Information

  1. 1

    Department of Biomolecular Sciences, Division of Medical Biochemistry, Saga Medical School, Nabeshima, Saga, Japan

  2. 2

    School of Medicine, Allergy and Inflammation Research, Southampton General Hospital, University Medicine, Southampton, UK

  3. 3

    Division of Immunology, Cincinnati Children's Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA

Author Information

  1. Division of Immunology, Cincinnati Children's Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 JUL 2011
  2. Published Print: 13 AUG 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444330144

Online ISBN: 9781444346688



  • Th2 cell role in allergic diathesis - allergic diseases, plaguing modernized societies;
  • allergic reactions, as atopy - elevations, in serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels;
  • role of CD 4+ T cells in allergy - causal role for T lymphocytes, in allergic disorders;
  • distinct subsets of CD4+ T cells - in pathophysiology of allergic diseases, mice and humans;
  • pathogenic role of Th2 cytokines - allergic disorders, role of Th2 cytokine-producing cells;
  • Th2 susceptibility, immune responses - Th2 cytokine gene polymorphisms, and allergic subphenotypes;
  • Th2 cell differentiation regulation;
  • molecular mechanisms of Th2 cell differentiation - and T helper 2 (Th2) differentiation;
  • therapeutic targeting of Th2 immune responses - Th2 cytokine implication in allergic disorders;
  • biologic modifiers of Th2 immune responses - targets, for new treatment strategies for asthma


Allergic disorders are thought to arise as a result of inappropriate adaptive immune responses to exogenous antigens in genetically susceptible individuals. As such, it has been hypothesized that CD4+ T cells that produce a T helper (Th) 2 pattern of cytokines play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of allergic disorders. Activation of these cells results in the release of a profile of cytokines (interleukin 4 [IL-4], IL-13, IL-5, IL-9) that individually or in concert orchestrate the recruitment and activation of the effector cells of the allergic response, including mast cells and eosinophils. The aim of this review is to discuss our current understanding of the pathophysiologic mechanisms by which Th2 cells induce allergic disease, the cellular and molecular mechanisms driving the differentiation of naïve CD4+ T cells into Th2 cytokine producing cells, and the possible therapeutic approaches to preventing or reversing the development of pathogenic Th2-mediated immune responses.