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Nat Immunol. 2000 Aug;1(2):132-7.

IL-18 induction of IgE: dependence on CD4+ T cells, IL-4 and STAT6.

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  • 1Department of Immunology and Medical Zoology, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Hyogo, 663-8501, Japan.


Overproduction of immunoglobulin E (IgE) and T helper cell type 2 (TH2) cytokines, including interleukin 4 (IL-4), IL-5 and IL-13, can result in allergic disorders. Although it is known that IL-4 is critical to the polarization of naïve CD4+ T cells to a TH2 phenotype, both in vitro and in many in vivo systems, other factors that regulate in vivo IL-4 production and TH2 commitment are poorly understood. IL-18, an IL-1-like cytokine that requires cleavage with caspase-1 to become active, was found to increase IgE production in a CD4+ T cells-, IL-4- and STAT6-dependent fashion. IL-18 and T cell receptor-mediated stimulation could induce naïve CD4+ T cells to develop into IL-4-producing cells in vitro. Thus, caspase-1 and IL-18 may be critical in regulation of IgE production in vivo, providing a potential therapeutic target for allergic disorders.

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