Interleukin-13 and interleukin-4 induce vascular endothelial growth factor release from airway smooth muscle cells: role of vascular endothelial growth factor genotype

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2006 Feb;34(2):213-8. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2005-0147OC. Epub 2005 Oct 6.


Th2 cytokines induce the release of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) from cultured human airway smooth muscle cells. The objective of this study was to examine the mechanistic basis for IL-4- and IL-13-induced VEGF release and to determine whether genetic differences are responsible for donor-to-donor variability in VEGF release. We measured VEGF mRNA expression by real-time PCR, mRNA stability using actinomycin D, and promoter activity with a VEGF-promoter luciferase reporter construct. We measured IL-4- and IL-13-induced VEGF release in cells from 21 donors by ELISA, genotyped the cells for common single nucleotide polymorphisms in the IL-4R alpha (Ile50Val, Ser478Pro, and Gln551Arg) and VEGF (-460T/C, -160C/T, -152G/A, +405C/G and +936 C/T) genes, and stratified the data by IL-4R alpha and VEGF genotype. IL-4 and IL-13 increased VEGF release and VEGF mRNA expression. IL-4 also increased mRNA stability but did not affect VEGF promoter activity. There was marked donor-to-donor variability in VEGF release from smooth muscle cells. The presence of Val50, Pro478/Arg551, or the Val50/Pro478/Arg551 IL-4R alpha haplotype had little effect on VEGF release. VEGF genotype at +405 or +936 alone had no effect on VEGF release, whereas cells bearing at least one -460C/-152A/+405G VEGF allele had lower release of VEGF in response to IL-13 or IL-4 than cells with other genotypes. Our data suggest that IL-4 and IL-13 mediate their effects on VEGF expression post-transcriptionally and indicate that polymorphisms in the VEGF, but not the IL-4R alpha, gene affect VEGF release from smooth muscle cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dactinomycin / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Genetic Variation
  • Haplotypes / genetics
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-13 / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-4 / pharmacology*
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle / drug effects
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle / metabolism*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Receptors, Interleukin-4 / genetics
  • Trachea / drug effects
  • Trachea / metabolism*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / drug effects
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / genetics*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism*


  • Interleukin-13
  • Receptors, Interleukin-4
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Dactinomycin
  • Interleukin-4