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Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2001 Jun;24(6):755-61.

Interleukin-13 upregulates eotaxin expression in airway epithelial cells by a STAT6-dependent mechanism.

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Johns Hopkins Asthma and Allergy Center, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Interleukin (IL)-13 is a T helper 2-derived cytokine that has recently been implicated in allergic airway responses. We hypothesized that IL-13 may regulate expression of eotaxin in airway epithelium. We found that IL-13 upregulated eotaxin messenger RNA and protein synthesis in the airway epithelial cell line BEAS-2B; this effect showed synergy with tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and also was inhibited by the glucocorticoid budesonide. To establish the mechanisms of eotaxin upregulation by IL-13, cells were transfected with an eotaxin promoter-luciferase reporter plasmid and transcription was activated by IL-13 (1.7-fold) and TNF-alpha (2.8-fold). The combination of IL-13 and TNF-alpha additively activated the promoter constructs (4.1-fold). Activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 6 by IL-13 was confirmed by nuclear protein binding to a DNA probe derived from the eotaxin promoter. Activation of eotaxin transcription by IL-13 and the additive effect with TNF-alpha were lost in plasmids mutated at a putative STAT6 binding site. Cotransfection with a wild-type STAT6 expression vector significantly enhanced activation of the eotaxin promoter after IL-13 stimulation (6-fold induction). A significant increase of eotaxin protein secretion in the supernatant of STAT6 wild-type-transfected cells was observed after IL-13 stimulation. Cotransfection with a dominant negative STAT6 mutant expression vector inhibited activation of the eotaxin promoter by IL-13. These results indicate that IL-13 stimulates eotaxin expression in airway epithelial cells and that STAT6 plays a pivotal role in this response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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