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Am J Pathol. 1999 Oct;155(4):1059-64.

IL-13 activates STAT6 and inhibits liver injury induced by ischemia/reperfusion.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky, 40202, USA.


Hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injury is initiated by the activation of Kupffer cells and their subsequent release of proinflammatory mediators, including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFalpha). These mediators stimulate a cascade of events including up-regulation of CXC chemokines and vascular endothelial adhesion molecules, leading to hepatic neutrophil recruitment and tissue injury. Interleukin-13 (IL-13) is a cytokine that has been shown to suppress macrophage production of proinflammatory mediators. The objective of the current study was to determine whether IL-13 could regulate the liver inflammatory injury induced by ischemia and reperfusion. C57BL/6 mice underwent 90 minutes of partial hepatic ischemia followed by reperfusion with or without intravenous administration of recombinant murine IL-13. Hepatic ischemia/reperfusion increased expression of TNFalpha and macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2), leading to hepatic neutrophil recruitment, hepatocellular injury, and liver edema. Administration of IL-13 reduced the production of TNFalpha and MIP-2 mRNA and protein. IL-13 suppressed liver neutrophil recruitment by up to 72% and hepatocellular injury and liver edema were each reduced by >60%. Administration of IL-13 had no effect on liver NFkappaB activation, but greatly increased the activation of STAT6. The data suggest that the hepatoprotective effects of IL-13 may be a result of STAT6 activation.

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