T cell subsets related with a sex difference in IL-5 production

Kaori Okuyama, Yuka Hamanaka, Tasuku Kawano, Yuichi Ohkawara, Motoaki Takayanagi, Toshiaki Kikuchi, Isao Ohno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Before puberty, the prevalence and severity of asthma are higher in boys than in girls, but this pattern is reversed after puberty. The underlying mechanisms of these gender differences in asthma are not fully understood. Using murine models of allergic asthma, a sex difference in Th2 cytokine production has been suggested to contribute to the gender differences in asthma. Therefore, we determined which subsets of T cells are involved in the sex difference in Th2 cytokine production. Methods: Splenocytes from wild-type mice and CD4+ T cell-, CD8+ T cell-, and iNKT cell-deficient mice were stimulated with anti-CD3/CD28 antibodies for 3 days, and the concentrations of IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, and IFN-γ in the cultures were measured by ELISA. Results: IL-5, but not IL-4 and IL-13, concentrations in culture derived from female wild-type mice were significantly higher than those in male wild-type mice. The sex difference in IL-5 concentrations was not observed in the cultures of splenocytes from CD4+ and CD8+ T cell-deficient mice. The disappearance of the sex differences in CD4+ and CD8+ T cell-deficient mice was attributable to a decrease in IL-5 concentration in female mice and an increase in IL-5 concentration in male mice. In iNKT cell-deficient mice, the sex difference was still observed. There was no significant difference between the sexes in any type of mice with respect to IFN-γ production. Conclusions: There was a sex difference in IL-5 production by splenocytes stimulated by TCR activation. The difference might be attributable to sex differences in CD4+ and CD8+ T cell functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-26
Number of pages6
JournalInternational archives of allergy and immunology
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • Bronchial asthma
  • CD4+ T cells
  • CD8+ T cells
  • Cytokines
  • Gender difference
  • Splenocytes
  • iNKT cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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