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Immunity. 2001 Aug;15(2):303-11.

Analysis of type 2 immunity in vivo with a bicistronic IL-4 reporter.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Departments of Medicine and Microbiology/Immunology, University of California, San Francisco 94143, USA.


Effector T cells mediate adaptive immunity and immunopathology, but methods for tracking such cells in vivo are limited. We engineered knockin mice expressing IL-4 linked via a viral IRES element with enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). Reporter T cells primed under Th2 conditions showed sensitive and faithful EGFP expression and maintained endogenous IL-4. After Nippostrongylus infection, reporter expression demonstrated the evolution of type 2 immunity from tissue lymphocytes and thence to lymph node CD4(+) T cells, which subsequently migrated into tissue. The appearance of EGFP(+) CD4(+) T cells in tissue, but not in lymph nodes, was Stat6-dependent. Transferred EGFP(+) CD4(+) T cells from infected animals conferred protection against Nippostrongylus to immunodeficient mice. These mice will provide a valuable reagent for assessing immunity in vivo.

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