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J Immunol. 2000 Jun 1;164(11):5549-55.

Murine bone marrow-derived mast cells as potent producers of IL-9: costimulatory function of IL-10 and kit ligand in the presence of IL-1.

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  • 1Institute of Immunology, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany.


Recently, the Th2-type cytokine IL-9 was identified by genetic mapping analyses as a key mediator that determines the susceptibility to asthma. This has been further supported by data from IL-9-transgenic mice in which the overexpression of IL-9 in the lung causes airway inflammation, mast cell hyperplasia, and bronchial hyperresponsiveness. In an accompanying paper, we demonstrate that murine bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMMC) after stimulation with either ionomycin, a combination of ionomycin and IL-1, or via IgE-Ag complexes and IL-1 are very potent producers of IL-9. Herein we show that a dramatic increase of IL-9 production is observed when BMMC activated with ionomycin/IL-1 or with IgE-Ag complexes/IL-1 are treated with either additional kit ligand (KL) or IL-10. Both KL and IL-10 considerably enhance the production of IL-9 mRNA and protein. We were also able to demonstrate that the production of endogenous IL-10 by activated mast cells acts on the production of IL-9. Half-life measurements of IL-9 mRNA revealed no significant effect by KL, but a 2-fold increase of mRNA stability under the influence of IL-10. Reporter gene assays of transfected BMMC showed an enhanced transcriptional activity of the IL-9 promoter in the presence of either IL-10 or KL compared with cells stimulated only with a combination of IL-1 and ionomycin. The influence of KL and IL-10 might be of physiological importance, because it is known that both cytokines are produced by bronchial epithelial cells.

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