Neutrophils are the first immune cells recruited to sites of inflammation and infection. However, patients with allergic disorders such as atopic dermatitis show a paucity of skin neutrophils and are prone to bacterial skin infections, suggesting that allergic inflammation curtails neutrophil responses. Here we have shown that the type 2 cell signature cytokine interleukin-4 (IL-4) hampers neutrophil expansion and migration by antagonizing granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and chemokine receptor-mediated signals. Cutaneous bacterial infection in mice was exacerbated by IL-4 signaling and improved with IL-4 inhibition, each outcome inversely correlating with neutrophil migration to skin. Likewise, systemic bacterial infection was worsened by heightened IL-4 activity, with IL-4 restricting G-CSF-induced neutrophil expansion and migration to tissues by affecting CXCR2-CXCR4 chemokine signaling in neutrophils. These effects were dependent on IL-4 acting through type 2 IL-4 receptors on neutrophils. Thus, targeting IL-4 might be beneficial in neutropenic conditions with increased susceptibility to bacterial infections.
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