Nonoverlapping expression of IL10, IL12p40, and IFNγ mRNA in the marginal zone and T cell zone of the spleen after antigenic stimulation

Kathrin Kalies*, Peter Konig, Yong Ming Zhang, Maria Deierling, Julia Barthelmann, Claudia Stamm, Jurgen Westermann

*Corresponding author for this work
14 Citations (Scopus)


The differentiation of CD4+ T cells is regulated by cytokines locally within the compartments of secondary lymphoid organs during adaptive immune responses. Quantitative data about the expression of cytokine mRNAs within the T and B cell zones of lymphoid organs are lacking. In this study, we assessed the expression of multiple cytokine genes within the lymphoid compartments of the spleen of rats after two types of stimulation. First, the spleen was stimulated directly by a blood-derived Ag. Second, the spleen was stimulated indirectly by incoming lymphocytes that had been activated and released during a proceeding immune response at a distant tissue site. Using laser microdissection, we show that the expression of cytokine mRNAs was compartment specific, transient, and preceded cell proliferation after the direct antigenic stimulation. Surprisingly, the indirect stimulation by incoming activated lymphocytes induced similar cytokines in the T cell zone. However, the nonoverlapping expression was lost and IL10 appeared as the major cytokine in all compartments. Thus, tracking two types of immune activation without disturbing the integrity of structures reveals distinct and overlapping events in the compartments of the spleen. This information adds a new dimension to the understanding of immune responses in vivo. The Journal of Immunology, 2008, 180: 5457-5465.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)5457-5465
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 15.04.2008

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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