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J Immunol. 2008 Apr 1;180(7):4948-55.

IL-4R alpha expression by bone marrow-derived cells is necessary and sufficient for host protection against acute schistosomiasis.

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  • 1Research Service (151), Cincinnati Veterans Administration Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45220, USA.


IL 4 receptor alpha (IL-4Ralpha) expression by non-bone marrow (BM)-derived cells is required to protect hosts against several parasitic helminth species. In contrast, we demonstrate that IL-4Ralpha expression by BM-derived cells is both necessary and sufficient to prevent Schistosoma mansoni-infected mice from developing severe inflammation directed against parasite ova, whereas IL-4Ralpha expression by non-BM-derived cells is neither necessary nor sufficient. Chimeras that express IL-4Ralpha only on non-BM-derived cells still produce Th2 cytokines, but overproduce IL-12p40, TNF, and IFN-gamma, fail to generate alternatively activated macrophages, and develop endotoxemia and severe hepatic and intestinal pathology. In contrast, chimeras that express IL-4Ralpha only on BM-derived cells have extended survival, even though the granulomas that they develop around parasite eggs are small and devoid of collagen. These observations identify distinct roles for IL-4/IL-13 responsive cell lineages during schistosomiasis: IL-4Ralpha-mediated signaling in non-BM-derived cells regulates granuloma size and fibrosis, whereas signaling in BM-derived cells suppresses parasite egg-driven inflammation within the liver and intestine.

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