Influenza was included in the viral antigen mix, as it is known to initiate the adaptive immune response, provoking a multi-step process with a sudden ‘cytokine storm’ at 48 h . In general, the immune defence of the human body is a multi-step process triggered and executed by different cell Selleckchem RXDX-106 defence lines. The major sources of cell-mediated immune response are leucocytes, whereby B and T cells and their release of cytokines play the most important role. The test presented in this study reflects reactions of both cell types and also of other defence lines as represented, e.g. by macrophages. As the human immune system is a complex organ,
the in-vitro test in this TGF-beta inhibitor study is testing for the overall response. The two important mechanisms are the B cells and their
capacity to produce antibodies, and more importantly the T cell activation followed by the T cell-dependent and -independent B cell activation . Cytokines play a key role in these activation processes. Recent investigations found that the cytokine release is not only limited to T cells but that B cells also have the potency and capacity to produce cytokines . For this reason, the test introduced in this study uses the cytokine responses as a read-out parameter, reflecting both cell lines. Testing for the most suitable and representative read-out parameters to mirror a DTH-like immune response, we focused on three representative cytokines which are involved in T cell-mediated immune responses: IL-2, IFN-γ and TNF-α. IL-2 is one of the key cytokines involved find more in T cell activation and proliferation . After incubation with the different antigens of either a bacterial, viral or fungal nature, the concentrations of IL-2 in the culture supernatants increased significantly at 24 h and even more significantly at 48 h after onset of incubation, reflecting a strong and time-dependent Th1 response. Moreover, IL-2 is known to be a potent inductor of IFN-γ during Th1 and Th2 differentiation . In addition, IFN-γ has been also identified
previously as one of the important cytokines involved in mediating skin DTH reactions . Accordingly, the time kinetic of IFN-γ followed mainly the IL-2 slope, and showed high concentrations at 24 and 48 h. TNF-α secreted by macrophages as well as by T cells is a potent initiator, enhancer and primer of T cell signalling and activation  in the inflammatory cascade. It is known to be released very early in the inflammation process . This was confirmed by our findings showing peak levels of TNF-α for bacterial, viral and fungal antigen stimulation as early as after 12 h after onset of incubation. This is in further accordance with previous results from virus-induced TNF-α secretion, which also occurs very early in the inflammatory process [33, 34].