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Immunology. 2011 Jan;132(1):66-77. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2567.2010.03340.x. Epub 2010 Sep 14.

Interleukin-25 fails to activate STAT6 and induce alternatively activated macrophages.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.


Interleukin-25 (IL-25), a T helper type 2 (Th2) -related factor, inhibits the production of inflammatory cytokines by monocytes/macrophages. Since Th2 cytokines antagonize classically activated monocytes/macrophages by inducing alternatively activated macrophages (AAMs), we here assessed the effect of IL-25 on the alternative activation of human monocytes/macrophages. The interleukins IL-25, IL-4 and IL-13 were effective in reducing the expression of inflammatory chemokines in monocytes. This effect was paralleled by induction of AAMs in cultures added with IL-4 or IL-13 but not with IL-25, regardless of whether cells were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide or interferon-γ. Moreover, pre-incubation of cells with IL-25 did not alter the ability of both IL-4 and IL-13 to induce AAMs. Both IL-4 and IL-13 activated signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (STAT6), and silencing of this transcription factor markedly reduced the IL-4/IL-13-driven induction of AAMs. In contrast, IL-25 failed to trigger STAT6 activation. Among Th2 cytokines, only IL-25 and IL-10 were able to activate p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. These results collectively indicate that IL-25 fails to induce AAMs and that Th2-type cytokines suppress inflammatory responses in human monocytes by activating different intracellular signalling pathways.

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