Analysis of type 2 immunity in vivo with a bicistronic IL-4 reporter

Immunity. 2001 Aug;15(2):303-11. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(01)00186-8.


Effector T cells mediate adaptive immunity and immunopathology, but methods for tracking such cells in vivo are limited. We engineered knockin mice expressing IL-4 linked via a viral IRES element with enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). Reporter T cells primed under Th2 conditions showed sensitive and faithful EGFP expression and maintained endogenous IL-4. After Nippostrongylus infection, reporter expression demonstrated the evolution of type 2 immunity from tissue lymphocytes and thence to lymph node CD4(+) T cells, which subsequently migrated into tissue. The appearance of EGFP(+) CD4(+) T cells in tissue, but not in lymph nodes, was Stat6-dependent. Transferred EGFP(+) CD4(+) T cells from infected animals conferred protection against Nippostrongylus to immunodeficient mice. These mice will provide a valuable reagent for assessing immunity in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Genes, Reporter / genetics*
  • Immunity
  • Interleukin-4 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-4 / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Nippostrongylus / immunology*
  • Strongylida Infections / immunology*


  • Interleukin-4