Association of the expression of IL-4 and IL-13 genes, IL-4 and IgE serum levels with allergic asthma

Iran J Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2007 Jun;6(2):67-72.


Immune and inflammatory responses mediated by cytokines, play important roles in the pathophysiology of asthma. These responses are associated with overexpression of Th2 cytokines such as IL-4 and IL-13. These two cytokines use common receptors for signaling that lead to identical immunological effects and regulation of the Th1/Th2 balance. The aim of this study was to determine whether patients with allergic asthma display overexpression of IL-4 and IL-13 genes. Using RT-PCR, we examined the expression of IL-4 and IL-13 genes in twenty asthmatic cases and twenty normal individuals. Total levels of serum IgE and IL-4 were also determined by ELISA method. Expression of IL-13 gene in 70% of patients with allergic asthma was higher than controls (P=0.01). There was no correlation between the expression of IL-13 gene and total level of serum IgE (P=0.07). Expression of IL-4 gene was detected in 30% of the patients and none of the normal individuals as determined by RT-PCR (P=0.01). Mean of serum IgE levels in patients and controls were 84.9 IU/ml and 62.2 IU/ml, respectively. Level of serum IgE was more than 100 IU/ml in 30% of patients (P=0.03). Mean of serum IL-4 levels in patients and controls were 15.73 pg/ml and 13.07 pg/ml, respectively. There was a relation between levels of serum IgE and IL-4 in 73% of cases. The results showed that there was a correlation between the expression of IL-4 gene and the level of serum IL-4. Levels of serum IgE and IL-4 were considerably higher in asthmatics than non-asthmatic controls.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / blood
  • Asthma / genetics*
  • Asthma / immunology
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / genetics
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood*
  • Interleukin-13 / blood*
  • Interleukin-13 / genetics*
  • Interleukin-13 / immunology
  • Interleukin-4 / blood*
  • Interleukin-4 / genetics*
  • Interleukin-4 / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Th1 Cells / metabolism
  • Th2 Cells / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / metabolism


  • Interleukin-13
  • Interleukin-4
  • Immunoglobulin E