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J Immunol. 2007 Dec 15;179(12):8554-61.

IL-21 induces inhibitor of differentiation 2 and leads to complete abrogation of anaphylaxis in mice.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Japan.


IL-21 exerts pleiotrophic immunomodulatory activities on a variety of target cells including B cells that undergo class switch recombination (CSR) to IgE. In this study, we examined whether IgE-mediated systemic anaphylaxis was controlled by in vivo administration of IL-21 using the peanut allergy model in mice and investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying the IL-21-induced regulation of IgE. The anaphylactic reaction was completely abolished by the administration of recombinant mouse IL-21 or an IL-21 expression plasmid in terms of the change of body temperature and anaphylactic symptoms. The recombinant mouse IL-21 treatment remarkably suppressed IgE CSR in splenic B cells, resulting in significant decrease in serum concentrations of total as well as allergen-specific IgE. In the meanwhile, IL-21 provoked B cells in normal as well as allergic mice to express the inhibitor of differentiation 2 (Id2) gene that was shown to be crucially involved in the regulation of the activation-induced cytidine deaminase and IgE CSR. Moreover, mice genetically deficient for Id2 were completely unsusceptible to IL-21-induced prevention of IgE CSR and anaphylaxis. The present study strongly suggests that IL-21 is capable of regulating systemic allergic reactions by inducing the transcriptional regulator Id2, and the cytokine may be useful for clinical intervention for allergic diseases including anaphylaxis.

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