Recombinant interferon-gamma inhibits the expression of IL-4 receptors on human lymphocytes

Clin Exp Immunol. 1991 Aug;85(2):307-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.1991.tb05724.x.


Interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) has been shown to inhibit many of the activities of IL-4, including the induction of IgE synthesis and the proliferation of T cell clones. Here we demonstrate that IFN-gamma is able to inhibit the expression of IL-4 receptors on peripheral blood lymphocytes from both normal healthy donors and from patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Inhibition was shown to be dose-dependent and did not affect the binding affinity of the receptor as shown by Scatchard analysis. IFN-gamma was unable to displace labelled IL-4 from its membrane receptor, which demonstrates that IFN-gamma and IL-4 do not compete for the same membrane binding protein. The ability of IFN-gamma to down-regulate IL-4 receptors may be important in controlling certain immune responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / biosynthesis
  • Interferon-gamma / pharmacology*
  • Interferon-gamma / physiology*
  • Interleukin-4 / metabolism*
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-4
  • Receptors, Mitogen / biosynthesis*
  • Receptors, Mitogen / drug effects
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Receptors, Interleukin-4
  • Receptors, Mitogen
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Interleukin-4
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Interferon-gamma