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

Staphylococcus aureus-induced septic arthritis and septic death is decreased in IL-4-deficient mice: role of IL-4 as promoter for bacterial growth.

Lack of IL-4 has been shown to be protective in some experimental models of infectious diseases in mice such as cutaneous leishmaniasis. At the same time IL-4, together with other Th2 cytokines, including IL-10 and IL-13, is known as an anti-inflammatory cytokine with the potential to down-regulate proinflammatory cytokine production. To investigate the role of IL-4 in experimental Staphylococcus aureus-induced and T lymphocyte-mediated arthritis, IL-4-deficient C57BL/6 mice (IL-4(-/-)) and their congenic controls (IL-4(+/+)) were inoculated with a toxic shock syndrome toxin-1-producing S. aureus strain. In IL-4(+/+) mice, arthritis peaked 14 days after bacterial inoculation, whereas, at that time, IL-4(-/-) mice displayed significantly less frequent (p < 0.05) joint inflammation. Paralleling lower frequency of arthritis, IL-4-deficient mice showed a decreased bacterial burden in joints (p = 0.014) and kidneys (p = 0.029), as well as lower infection-triggered weight decrease and mortality. In vitro, IL-4 inhibited intracellular killing of S. aureus in infected macrophages, without affecting phagocytosis. This finding may explain the enhanced staphylococcal clearance observed in IL-4(-/-) mice in vivo. Our results suggest that IL-4 and IL-4-dependent Th2 responses promote septic arthritis and sepsis-related mortality by inhibition of bacterial clearance during S. aureus infection.[1]


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