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Divergent expression patterns of IL-4 and IL-13 define unique functions in allergic immunity.

Interleukin 4 (IL-4) and IL-13 are critical for responses to parasitic helminthes. We used genetically engineered reporter mice to assess the temporal and spatial production of these cytokines in vivo. In lymph nodes, IL-4, but not IL-13, was made by follicular helper T cells (T(FH) cells). In contrast, tissue type 2 helper T cells (T(H)2 cells) produced both cytokines. There was also divergent production of IL-4 and IL-13 among cells of the innate immune system, whereby basophils produced IL-4, whereas innate helper type 2 cells (Ih2 cells) produced IL-13. IL-13 production by T(H)2 and Ih2 cells was dependent on the transcription factor GATA-3, which was present in large amounts in these cells, and in contrast to the small amount of GATA-3 in T(FH) cells and basophils. The distinct localization and cellular expression of IL-4 and IL-13 explains their unique roles during allergic immunity.

Pubmed ID: 22138715


  • Liang HE
  • Reinhardt RL
  • Bando JK
  • Sullivan BM
  • Ho IC
  • Locksley RM


Nature immunology

Publication Data

January 19, 2012

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIAID NIH HHS, Id: AI026918
  • Agency: NIAID NIH HHS, Id: AI030663
  • Agency: NIAID NIH HHS, Id: AI077439
  • Agency: NIAID NIH HHS, Id: R01 AI030663
  • Agency: NIAID NIH HHS, Id: R37 AI026918
  • Agency: NIAID NIH HHS, Id: R37 AI026918-22
  • Agency: NIAID NIH HHS, Id: U19 AI077439
  • Agency: NIAID NIH HHS, Id: U19 AI077439-05
  • Agency: Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Id:

Mesh Terms

  • Animals
  • Basophils
  • GATA3 Transcription Factor
  • Gene Expression
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Interleukin-13
  • Interleukin-4
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Protein Transport
  • STAT6 Transcription Factor
  • Strongylida Infections
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets
  • Th2 Cells