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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

IL-4 exacerbates disease in a Th1 cell transfer model of colitis.

IL-4 is associated with Th2-type immune responses and can either inhibit or, in some cases, promote Th1-type responses. We tested the effect of IL-4 treatment on the development of inflammation in the CD4(+)CD45RB(high) T cell transfer model of colitis, which has been characterized as a Th1-dependent disease. IL-4 treatment significantly accelerated the development of colitis in immunodeficient recipients (recombinase-activating gene-2 (Rag2)(-/-)) of CD4(+)CD45RB(high) T cells. Quantitative analysis of mRNA expression in the colons of IL-4-treated mice showed an up-regulation of both Th1- and Th2-associated molecules, including IFN-gamma, IP-10, MIG, CXCR3, chemokine receptor-8, and IL-4. However, cotreatment with either IL-10 or anti-IL-12 mAb effectively blocked the development of colitis in the presence of exogenous IL-4. These data indicate that IL-4 treatment exacerbates a Th1- mediated disease rather than induces Th2-mediated inflammation. As other cell types besides T cells express the receptor for IL-4, the proinflammatory effects of IL-4 on host cells in Rag2(-/-) recipients were assessed. IL-4 treatment was able to moderately exacerbate colitis in Rag2(-/-) mice that were reconstituted with IL-4Ralpha-deficient (IL-4Ralpha(-/-)) CD4(+)CD45RB(high) T cells, suggesting that the IL-4 has proinflammatory effects on both non-T and T cells in this model. IL-4 did not cause colitis in Rag2(-/-) mice in the absence of T cells, but did induce an increase in MHC class II expression in the lamina propria of the colon, which was blocked by cotreatment with IL-10. Together these results indicate that IL-4 can indirectly promote Th1-type inflammation in the CD4(+)CD45RB(high) T cell transfer model of colitis.[1]


  1. IL-4 exacerbates disease in a Th1 cell transfer model of colitis. Fort, M., Lesley, R., Davidson, N., Menon, S., Brombacher, F., Leach, M., Rennick, D. J. Immunol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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