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In vitro generation of interleukin 10-producing regulatory CD4(+) T cells is induced by immunosuppressive drugs and inhibited by T helper type 1 (Th1)- and Th2-inducing cytokines. Barrat FJ1, Cua DJ, Boonstra A, Richards DF, Crain C, Savelkoul HF, de Waal-Malefyt R, Coffman RL, Hawrylowicz CM, O'Garra A.
The characterisation of another novel T helper subtype, T helper 17 cells (Th17) has cast further doubt on the basic Th1/Th2 model. These IL-17 producing cells were initially described as a pathogenic population implicated in autoimmunity but are now thought to have their own distinct effector and regulatory functions. Of note, recent evidence suggest that functional plasticity is an intrinsic capacity of T helper cells.