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J Immunol. 1992 Feb 1;148(3):900-6.

Role of IL-4 and IFN-gamma in Schistosoma mansoni egg-induced hypersensitivity granuloma formation. Orchestration, relative contribution, and relationship to macrophage function.

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  • 1Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI 48105.


A well defined model of T cell-mediated hypersensitivity-type granulomatous inflammation induced by Schistosoma mansoni eggs was used to assess the role of IL-4 and IFN-gamma in granuloma development. Synchronized pulmonary granulomas were induced and isolated from S. mansoni-infected mice during vigorous (8 wk) and modulated (20 wk) stages of the disease. The sequential production of IL-4 and IFN was determined and related to temporal changes in granuloma macrophage production of IL-1, TNF, and superoxide anion (O2-). During the vigorous stage, IL-4 was produced on days 1 and 2 of granuloma formation, whereas IFN was released in greatest amounts on days 4 to 8. The peak of IL-4 occurred in a window between the peak of IL-1 (1 day) and maximal TNF production (8 to 16 days). Maximal O2- release tended to parallel IFN production. During the modulated stage when the inflammatory response is attenuated, IL-4 production was dramatically reduced as were levels of IL-1 and TNF, but IFN production persisted and maximum O2(-)-producing capacity was only delayed in onset. mAb specific for IL-4 and IFN were used to examine the effect of in vivo depletion of these cytokines on granuloma development. Administration of a single 1.0-mg dose of anti-IL-4 antibodies to mice with synchronously developing granulomas dramatically reduced granuloma size (40 to 50% suppression of area) during an 8-day study period, whereas antibodies to IFN had no effect on size. However, the latter treatment reduced giant cell formation. Our results indicate that granuloma development involves an orchestrated production of cytokines possibly resulting from sequential participation of different Th cell populations. Moreover, IL-4 is a pivotal cytokine in anamnestic cellular recruitment and subject to endogenous regulation.

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