Aberrant production of the prototypical type 2 cytokines, interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 has long been associated with the pathogenesis of allergic disorders. Despite tremendous scientific inquiry, the similarities in their structure, and receptor usage have made it difficult to ascertain the distinct role that these two look-alike cytokines play in the onset and perpetuation of allergic inflammation. However, recent discoveries of differences in receptor distribution, utilization/assembly and affinity between IL-4 and IL-13, along with the discovery of unique innate lymphoid 2 cells (ILC2) which preferentially produce IL-13, not IL-4, are beginning to shed light on these mysteries. The purpose of this chapter is to review our current understanding of the distinct roles that IL-4 and IL-13 play in allergic inflammatory states and the utility of their modulation as potential therapeutic strategies for the treatment of allergic disorders.
Keywords: Allergy; Asthma; IL-13; IL-4.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.