While a differential sensitivity to cyclic AMP (cAMP)-mediated signaling between Th1 and Th2 cells has been hypothesized, differential activity of downstream signaling through cAMP-dependent protein kinase (cAK) isoforms remains unexplored. We herein report the effects of type 1- and type 2-specific cAK agonists and antagonists on proliferative responses and cytokine generation from ragweed-driven peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and Amb a 1-specific Th1 and Th2 clones. Rp-8-Cl- and Rp-8-CPT-cAMP were utilized as single agent antagonists of cAKI and cAKII, respectively; 8-AHA-cAMP, with and without 8-PIP-cAMP, and 8-CPT-cAMP, with and without 6-Bnz-cAMP, were used as synergistic agonist pairs specific for the cAKI and cAKII, respectively. Activation of either cAKI or cAKII individually was ineffective in down-regulating proliferative responses of PBMCs or T cell clones; concentration-response curves for the Th1 and Th2 clones were identical. Moreover, inhibition of either cAKI or cAKII individually was ineffective in overcoming the down-regulatory effects of phosphodiesterase inhibition. Activation of either cAKI or cAKII individually was ineffective in down-regulating proinflammatory cytokine generation from T cell clones (interleukin-4 from Th2; interferon-γ from Th1). However, concurrent activation of both cAKI and cAKII produced down-regulatory effects equivalent to those of the phosphodiesterase inhibitor on both proliferation and cytokine generation. These data suggest a critical role for concurrent activation of cAKI and cAKII in the functional efficacy of antigen-driven downstream signaling due to elevations of intracellular cAMP and argue against differential regulation of Th1 and Th2 responses by cAK subtypes. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Inc.
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