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

IL-13 receptor alpha2 promotes epithelial cell regeneration from radiation-induced small intestinal injury in mice.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: The cytokines interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 have pleiotropic effects on a variety of cell types and impact both pathologic changes and tissue remodeling. The aim of this study was to clarify the roles of IL-13 receptor alpha2 (IL-13Ralpha2), which is the high-affinity decoy receptor for IL-13, in gastrointestinal tract epithelial cell turnover and repair. METHODS: We have compared the regenerative process following mucosal damage induced by whole-body 3-Gy X-ray irradiation of wild-type (WT) and IL-4 receptor alpha gene-deficient (IL-4R(-/-)) mice. Then we treated mice with IL-13Ralpha2 human immunoglobulin (Ig) chimeric protein. RESULTS: Up-regulation of mRNA levels for IL-13 in NK cells in the lamina propria was seen after irradiation of WT mice. Concomitant with vigorous epithelial cell division in the jejunum following irradiation, expression of the IL-13Ralpha2 dramatically increased in myofibroblasts and fibroblasts. In contrast, epithelial cell repair was delayed in IL-4R(-/-) mice, which did not show transient up-regulation of IL-13Ralpha2, although up-regulation of IL-13 was seen. Addition of IL-13 but not IL-4 to primary cultures of small intestine from both WT and IL-4R(-/-) mice induced epithelial cell damage. Treatment of IL-4R(-/-) mice with IL-13Ralpha2-Ig resulted in increased numbers of dividing epithelial cells and improved tissue repair after irradiation. Further, treatment with IL-13Ralpha2-Ig increased numbers of microcolonies of regenerating epithelial cells in the intestine of WT mice after severe damage induced by 12-Gy irradiation. CONCLUSIONS: The IL-13Ralpha2 is a major regulatory factor involved in the regeneration of epithelial cells in the gastrointestinal tract.[1]


  1. IL-13 receptor alpha2 promotes epithelial cell regeneration from radiation-induced small intestinal injury in mice. Kawashima, R., Kawamura, Y.I., Kato, R., Mizutani, N., Toyama-Sorimachi, N., Dohi, T. Gastroenterology (2006) [Pubmed]
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