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Interleukin 31, a cytokine produced by activated T cells, induces dermatitis in mice.

T cell-derived cytokines are important in the development of an effective immune response, but when dysregulated they can promote disease. Here we identify a four-helix bundle cytokine we have called interleukin 31 (IL-31), which is preferentially produced by T helper type 2 cells. IL-31 signals through a receptor composed of IL-31 receptor A and oncostatin M receptor. Expression of IL-31 receptor A and oncostatin M receptor mRNA was induced in activated monocytes, whereas epithelial cells expressed both mRNAs constitutively. Transgenic mice overexpressing IL-31 developed severe pruritus, alopecia and skin lesions. Furthermore, IL-31 receptor expression was increased in diseased tissues derived from an animal model of airway hypersensitivity. These data indicate that IL-31 may be involved in promoting the dermatitis and epithelial responses that characterize allergic and non-allergic diseases.

Pubmed ID: 15184896


  • Dillon SR
  • Sprecher C
  • Hammond A
  • Bilsborough J
  • Rosenfeld-Franklin M
  • Presnell SR
  • Haugen HS
  • Maurer M
  • Harder B
  • Johnston J
  • Bort S
  • Mudri S
  • Kuijper JL
  • Bukowski T
  • Shea P
  • Dong DL
  • Dasovich M
  • Grant FJ
  • Lockwood L
  • Levin SD
  • LeCiel C
  • Waggie K
  • Day H
  • Topouzis S
  • Kramer J
  • Kuestner R
  • Chen Z
  • Foster D
  • Parrish-Novak J
  • Gross JA


Nature immunology

Publication Data

July 29, 2004

Associated Grants


Mesh Terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Dermatitis
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Infusion Pumps, Implantable
  • Interleukins
  • Lung
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Cytokine
  • Receptors, Interleukin
  • Receptors, Oncostatin M
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Transgenes
  • Up-Regulation