Human TSLP promotes CD40 ligand-induced IL-12 production by myeloid dendritic cells but maintains their Th2 priming potential.Blood. 2005 Jun 15; 105(12):4749-51.Blood
Interleukin-4 (IL-4), a major T-helper type 2 (Th2) cytokine, primes dendritic cells (DCs) for IL-12 production, suggesting a negative feedback loop to prevent dysregulated Th2 inflammation, such as allergy. We previously showed that human thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), highly expressed by keratinocytes of atopic dermatitis, activates CD11c(+) DCs to induce the differentiation of naive CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells into proallergic effectors. Here we show that TSLP primes DCs to produce large amounts of IL-12 after CD40 ligand stimulation, similar to IL-4 priming of DCs. In contrast to IL-4 priming, DCs activated with TSLP and CD40 ligand induce the differentiation of naive CD4(+) T cells into effectors producing both Th1 and Th2 cytokines, a unique profile that is reminiscent of the late phase of allergy. Thus, TSLP is a major regulatory cytokine for IL-12 production by DCs, and TSLP-activated DCs could promote the persistence of Th2 inflammation even in the presence of IL-12-inducing signals.