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Immunity. 2000 Oct;13(4):573-83.

IL-9-deficient mice establish fundamental roles for IL-9 in pulmonary mastocytosis and goblet cell hyperplasia but not T cell development.

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MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


Interleukin-9 is a cytokine produced by Th2 cells and is a candidate gene for asthma and atopy. We have generated IL-9-deficient mice to delineate the specific roles of IL-9 in Th2 responses. Using a pulmonary granuloma model, we have demonstrated a distinct requirement for IL-9 in the rapid and robust generation of pulmonary goblet cell hyperplasia and mastocytosis in response to lung challenge. In contrast, eosinophilia and granuloma formation were not affected. IL-9 was not required for T cell development or differentiation, the generation of naive or antigen-driven antibody responses, or the expulsion of the intestinal parasitic nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis. Thus, deletion of IL-9 manifests as a highly defined phenotype in Th2 responses modulating mucus production and mast cell proliferation.

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