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Clin Immunol. 2003 Aug;108(2):80-8.

Differential effects of interleukin-4 in peptide induced autoimmunity.

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The Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.


BALB/c mice immunized with multimeric DWEYSVWLSN develop IgG1 anti-DNA antibodies and glomerular immunoglobulin deposits, leading us to investigate the role of IL-4 in this model of antigen induced lupus. Splenocytes from DWEYSVWLSN immunized mice secreted IL-4 but not gamma-interferon. Following peptide immunization, IgG1 anti-peptide and anti-DNA antibodies were significantly higher in IL-4 wild type mice, while IgM and IgG3 anti-DNA levels were significantly higher in IL-4 knockout mice. Titers of IgG anti-laminin and anti-histone, but not anti-Sm/RNP and anti-cardiolipin antibodies, were significantly higher in the IL-4 wild type group. Glomerular immunoglobulin deposition was substantially decreased in IL-4 knockout mice. We conclude that while IL-4 does not materially affect the generation of some autoantibody responses associated with peptide induced autoimmunity, IL-4 deficiency inhibits kidney immunoglobulin deposition. The effect of IL-4 on humoral autoimmunity in lupus is complex, and is dependent on genetic background, the antigenic trigger and stage of disease.

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