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

Induction of IL-13 triggers TGF-beta1-dependent tissue fibrosis in chronic 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid colitis.

To investigate the immunopathogenesis of inflammation-associated fibrosis, we analyzed the chronic colitis and late-developing fibrosis occurring in BALB/c mice administered weekly doses of intrarectal 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid. We showed first in this model that an initial Th1 response involving IL-12p70 and IFN-gamma subsides after 3 wk to be supplanted by an IL-23/IL-25 response beginning after 4-5 wk. This evolution is followed by gradually increasing production of IL-17 and cytokines ordinarily seen in a Th2 response, particularly IL-13, which reaches a plateau at 8-9 wk. In vitro stimulation studies suggest that this IL-13 production is dependent on IL-23 and IL-25, but not on IL-12p70. We then show that IL-13 production results in the induction of an IL-13R formerly thought to function only as a decoy receptor, IL-13Ralpha(2), and this receptor is critical to the production of TGF-beta(1) and the onset of fibrosis. Thus, if IL-13 signaling through this receptor is blocked by administration of soluble IL-13Ralpha(2)-Fc, or by administration of IL-13Ralpha(2)-specific small interfering RNA, TGF-beta(1) is not produced and fibrosis does not occur. These studies show that in chronic 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid colitis, fibrosis is dependent on the development of an IL-13 response that acts through a novel cell surface-expressed IL-13R to induce TGF-beta(1). A similar mechanism may obtain in certain forms of human inflammatory bowel disease.[1]


  1. Induction of IL-13 triggers TGF-beta1-dependent tissue fibrosis in chronic 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid colitis. Fichtner-Feigl, S., Fuss, I.J., Young, C.A., Watanabe, T., Geissler, E.K., Schlitt, H.J., Kitani, A., Strober, W. J. Immunol. (2007) [Pubmed]
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