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Nat Immunol. 2008 Jan;9(1):25-33. Epub 2007 Dec 9.

Unique functions of the type II interleukin 4 receptor identified in mice lacking the interleukin 13 receptor alpha1 chain.

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  • 1Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


The interleukin 4 receptor (IL-4R) is a central mediator of T helper type 2 (T(H)2)-mediated disease and associates with either the common gamma-chain to form the type I IL-4R or with the IL-13R alpha1 chain (IL-13Ralpha1) to form the type II IL-4R. Here we used Il13ra1-/- mice to characterize the distinct functions of type I and type II IL-4 receptors in vivo. In contrast to Il4ra-/- mice, which have weak T(H)2 responses, Il13ra1-/- mice had exacerbated T(H)2 responses. Il13ra1-/- mice showed much less mortality after infection with Schistosoma mansoni and much more susceptibility to Nippostrongylus brasiliensis. IL-13Ralpha1 was essential for allergen-induced airway hyperreactivity and mucus hypersecretion but not for fibroblast or alternative macrophage activation. Thus, type I and II IL-4 receptors exert distinct effects on immune responses.

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