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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1991 Feb 14;174(3):1287-93.

Interleukin-4 is a potent mitogen for capillary endothelium.

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Imperial Cancer Research Fund, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, United Kingdom.


Interleukin-4 (IL-4) is a mitogen for both microvascular (human adrenal capillary, HACE) and large vessel (human umbilical vein, HUVEC) endothelial cells. Comparison of growth promotion by IL-4 to that by the potent endothelial mitogen fibroblast growth factor (FGF) showed the activity of IL-4 on HACE cells to be strong (50% of that with FGF) but on HUVEC's weak (12% of that with FGF). Growth stimulation was characterised by both 3H-thymidine incorporation and by cell number, and was maximal at 1 nM IL-4. The presence of IL-4 receptors on HACE cells and HUVEC's was confirmed by specific binding of radioiodinated IL-4. Scatchard analysis confirmed a single high affinity binding receptor on both HACE cells (Kd = 80 pM, 358 receptors/cell) and HUVEC's (Kd = 88 pM, 2,580 receptors/cell). Potent activity on capillary as opposed to large vessel endothelium places IL-4 in a unique position amongst endothelial mitogens.

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