Role of anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 in systemic sclerosis

Inflamm Res. 2015 Apr;64(3-4):151-9. doi: 10.1007/s00011-015-0806-0. Epub 2015 Mar 1.


Objective: The aim of this paper is to review the anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 and their receptor signals; we discuss new insight into their possible roles in systemic sclerosis (SSc) and their overlapping function in SSc.

Introduction: SSc is a connective tissue disease characterized by fibrosis. The exact etiology of SSc is unknown, and no therapy has been proved effective in modifying its course. Recently the roles of IL-4 and IL-13 in the development of SSc have been extensively considered. The possible roles of IL-4 and IL-13, especially their overlapping function, in SSc are not well documented.

Methods: A literature survey was performed using a PubMed database search to gather complete information regarding IL-4 and IL-13 and their role in inflammation.

Results and conclusions: The participation of complex pathways of IL-4 and IL-13 in the process of inflammation and fibrosis action in SSc is still not very clear, and some pathogenesis of regulation found in vitro needs to be further proved. There is still more work which could be done to achieve useful developments with therapeutic benefit in SSc.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Fibrosis / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Interleukin-13 / physiology*
  • Interleukin-4 / physiology*
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / etiology
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / physiopathology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Interleukin-13
  • Interleukin-4