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Gastroenterology. 2002 Jun;122(7):2001-10.

Critical role of interleukin 5 and eosinophils in concanavalin A-induced hepatitis in mice.

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  • 1Laboratory of Experimental Gastroenterology, Faculty of Medicine, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium. hlouis@ulb.ac.be



Eosinophils are observed in several liver diseases, but their contribution in the pathogenesis of these disorders remains poorly investigated. Concanavalin A (Con A)-induced hepatitis is an experimental model of immune-mediated liver injury in which natural killer T (NKT) cells play a critical role through the production of interleukin (IL)-4 and the expression of Fas ligand (FasL). Because activated NKT cells also produce IL-5, a critical cytokine for eosinophil maturation and function, the role of IL-5 was investigated in this model.


IL-5-deficient mice, eosinophil depletion in wild-type (WT) mice, and NKT cell transfer from WT- or IL-5-deficient mice into NKT cell-deficient mice were used to assess the role of IL-5 and eosinophils.


Liver eosinophil infiltrate and IL-5 production were observed after Con A challenge. Liver injury was dramatically reduced in IL-5-deficient or eosinophil-depleted mice. In addition, residual hepatitis observed in Fas-deficient mice was abolished after IL-5 neutralization. Finally, we showed that NKT cells constituted a critical source of IL-5. Indeed, transfer of WT NKT cells to mice lacking NKT cells restored liver injury, whereas transfer of IL-5-deficient NKT cells did not.


These observations highlight the pathologic role of IL-5 and eosinophils in experimental immune-mediated hepatitis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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