University of Tasmania

File(s) not publicly available

3D computation modelling of the influence of cytokine secretion on Th-cell development suggests that negative selection (inhibition of Th1 cells) is more effective than positive selection by IL-4 for Th2 cell dominance

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 08:00 authored by Jansson, A, Harlen, M, Karlsson, S, Nilsson, P, Cooley, MA
Th-cell development has been suggested to include selective mechanisms in which certain cytokines select either Th1 or Th2 cells to proliferate and grow. The selective theory is based on the observation that Th2 cells secrete IL-4, a cytokine that promotes Th2 development, whereas Th1 cells secrete interferon-γ (IFN-γ) that favours Th1 development, and both positive and negative selective influences have been suggested to operate. In this study, we investigate the role of autocrine secretion and utilization of IL-4 by Th2 cells and address the question of whether an activated Th2 cell can be positively selected by IL-4 secreted from other Th2 cells. We present a spatial three dimensional (3D) modelling approach to simulate the interaction between the IL-4 ligand and its IL-4 receptors expressed on discrete IL-4 secreting cells. The simulations, based on existing experimental data on the IL-4 receptor-ligand system, illustrate how Th-cell development is highly dependent on the distance between cells that are communicating. The model suggests that a single Th2 cell is likely to communicate with possible target cells within a range of approximately 100 μm and that an activated Th2 cell manages to fill most of its own IL-4 receptors, even at a low secretion rate. The predictions made by the model suggest that negative selection against Th1 cells is more effective than positive selection by IL-4 for promoting Th2 dominance. © 2007 Australasian Society for Immunology Inc. All rights reserved.


Publication title

Immunology and Cell Biology








Tasmanian School of Medicine


Blackwell Publishing Asia

Place of publication

54 University St, P O Box 378, Carlton, Australia, Victoria, 3053

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified

Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania


    Ref. manager