Th1-and Th2-derived cytokine production in response to synthetic peptides of the fimbrial subunit protein (fimbrilin) from strain 381 was assessed in spleen mononuclear cells (MNC) of BALB/c mice (H-2 haplotype) immunised with the fimbrial protein antigen and adjuvant GM-53 in Freund's incomplete adjuvant (FIA). Sixty-seven sequential overlapping 10-mer peptides covering the complete 337 amino-acids (AA) protein of fimbrilin were synthesised. Stimulation of spleen MNC with these 10-mer peptides resulted in the production of murine interleukin-2 (IL-2), γ-interferon (IFN-γ), IL-4, IL-5 and IL-6. Peptides 13 (AA 61-70), 24 (AA 116-125), 31 (AA 151-160) and 64 (AA 316-325) markedly induced IL-2 production. In particular, peptide 24 (DPLKIKRVHA), which contained I-A, I-E and I-A binding motifs, was the most potent stimulator of IL-2, IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-5 and IL-6 production. Spleen MNC from C3H/HeN mice (H-2) followed by BALB/c mice (H-2) immunised with peptide 24 were high responders to peptide 24 in terms of both IFN-γ and IL-4 production, whereas A/J mice (H-2) and C57BL/6 mice (H-2) were very low responders, fimbriae evoked higher delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reactions in B10. D2 (H-2) and B10. BR (H-2) mice followed by C57BL/10 (B10, H-2) and B10. A (H-2) and in guinea-pigs immunised with the fimbriae and GM-53 in FIA. Thus, the Th1 and Th2 helper T cell cytokine-producing responses and the DTH reactions to fimbriae in mice are restricted by H-2 haplotype and the amino-acid sequence (AA 116-125) within the fimbrial protein molecule acts as a common stimulator of cytokine production in both Th1 and Th2 cells.


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