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

Interleukin-4 suppresses inflammatory cytokine gene transcription in porcine macrophages.

Inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-1 alpha, IL-1 beta, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor alpha ( TNF-alpha) are produced by macrophages in response to a variety of pathogenic stimuli. We show here that the expression of inflammatory cytokines is suppressed by IL-4 at the transcriptional level. Interleukin-4, when added together with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), suppressed LPS-induced increases in mRNA levels of IL-1 alpha, IL-1 beta, IL-8, and TNF-alpha in alveolar macrophages. The level of suppression was dependent on dose and time of exposure and reached a maximum of 75-80% of uninduced values for IL-1 alpha, IL-8, and TNF. Interleukin-1 beta expression was completely inhibited by IL-4. The amount of secreted protein, as determined by TNF-alpha bioassay, was also suppressed by IL-4. Half-maximal suppression occurred at IL-4 concentrations between 0.02 and 0.1 ng/ml for all inflammatory cytokines. Nuclear run-on assays showed that IL-4 suppressed transcriptional activity of all inflammatory cytokines. Messenger RNA stability was not changed by IL-4. The data suggest that IL-4 plays an important transcriptional role in the regulation of alveolar macrophage inflammatory activities in respiratory disease and raise the possibility that IL-4 may function in vivo as a coordinator of inflammatory and immune responses.[1]


  1. Interleukin-4 suppresses inflammatory cytokine gene transcription in porcine macrophages. Zhou, Y., Lin, G., Baarsch, M.J., Scamurra, R.W., Murtaugh, M.P. J. Leukoc. Biol. (1994) [Pubmed]
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