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J Immunol. 2010 Dec 1;185(11):6802-8. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1002118. Epub 2010 Oct 22.

IL-13Rα2 has a protective role in a mouse model of cutaneous inflammation.

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  • 1Division of Asthma Research, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.


IL-13 is expressed in lesions of atopic dermatitis (AD) and has been associated with increased disease severity. IL-13 has two cognate receptors: IL-13Rα1 and IL-13Rα2. Although IL-13Rα2 expression is known to be induced in response to IL-13 in keratinocytes, its function in AD has never been evaluated. We characterized the loss of skin barrier function and the development of cutaneous inflammation in IL-13Rα2-null versus wild-type BALB/c mice following an epicutaneous allergen-sensitization/challenge model that shares similarities with human AD. Mice lacking IL-13Rα2 had significantly increased transepidermal water loss, cutaneous inflammation, peripheral eosinophilia, and IgG1 and IgE levels compared with wild-type mice. The rate of resolution of the cutaneous inflammation was not significantly altered in the IL-13Rα2-null mice. IL-13 induced expression of IL-13Rα2 in keratinocyte cell lines and primary human keratinocytes. Depletion of IL-13Rα2 in a keratinocyte cell line resulted in increased STAT6 signaling in response to IL-13. In conclusion, IL-13Rα2 serves a protective role in the pathogenesis of allergic inflammation and loss of skin barrier function in a mouse model of AD, suggesting that it may be an important endogenous regulator of IL-13-induced cutaneous inflammation in humans.

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