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Science. 1998 Dec 18;282(5397):2261-3.

Requirement for IL-13 independently of IL-4 in experimental asthma.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, San Francisco General Hospital, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


The pathogenesis of asthma reflects, in part, the activity of T cell cytokines. Murine models support participation of interleukin-4 (IL-4) and the IL-4 receptor in asthma. Selective neutralization of IL-13, a cytokine related to IL-4 that also binds to the alpha chain of the IL-4 receptor, ameliorated the asthma phenotype, including airway hyperresponsiveness, eosinophil recruitment, and mucus overproduction. Administration of either IL-13 or IL-4 conferred an asthma-like phenotype to nonimmunized T cell-deficient mice by an IL-4 receptor alpha chain-dependent pathway. This pathway may underlie the genetic associations of asthma with both the human 5q31 locus and the IL-4 receptor.

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