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J Immunol. 1992 Dec 1;149(11):3659-64.

IL-4 influences IL-2 production and granulomatous inflammation in murine schistosomiasis mansoni.

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  • 1Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201.


In previous studies the dynamics of IL-2 production by splenic cells of Schistosoma mansoni infected mice was correlated with the intensity of hepatic granulomatous inflammation. To extend those observations, the present studies examined the role of IL-4 on the immune responsiveness of infected mice. The dynamics of IL-4 production by soluble egg Ag-stimulated splenic cells was similar to that of IL-2: minimal levels at the pre-oviposition or early worm egg deposition stages (4 to 6 wk) peak production coincident with maximal granulomatous response (8 wk) followed by a concurrent decline at the chronic stage (18 to 20 wk) in both parameters. Addition of murine rIL-4 to splenocyte cultures of acutely or chronically infected mice did not significantly enhance the soluble egg Ag-elicited proliferative response. Daily injections of rIL-4 (10 to 1000 U) given for 14 days to groups of mice with acute infection, at the high dose-enhanced IL-2, but not IL-4, production. Similar treatment given to chronically infected mice did not augment diminished lymphokine production. Chronically infected mice treated with 10 to 1000 U of rIL-4 showed significantly enhanced liver granulomatous responses compared with untreated animals and the augmented granulomas contained more enlarged macrophages and connective tissue matrix. Repeated injections of anti-IL-4 mAb (11B11) given to acutely infected mice significantly suppressed splenic cell proliferation, IL-2 and IL-4 production, and hepatic granulomatous inflammation. Similar treatment given to chronically infected mice also diminished the down-modulated granulomatous response. These data demonstrate that IL-4 plays an important role in the egg-directed granulomatous response and participates in the regulation of Ag-specific lymphoproliferation, and IL-2 and IL-4 production during the course of the infection.

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