IL-4 controls activated neutrophil FcγR2b expression and migration into inflamed joints

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Feb 11;117(6):3103-3113. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1914186117. Epub 2020 Jan 24.


Neutrophils are the most abundant immune cells found in actively inflamed joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and most animal models for RA depend on neutrophils for the induction of joint inflammation. Exogenous IL-4 and IL-13 protect mice from antibody-mediated joint inflammation, although the mechanism is not understood. Neutrophils display a very strong basal expression of STAT6, which is responsible for signaling following exposure to IL-4 and IL-13. Still, the role of IL-4 and IL-13 in neutrophil biology has not been well studied. This can be explained by the low neutrophil surface expression of the IL-4 receptor α-chain (IL-4Rα), essential for IL-4- and IL-13-induced STAT6 signaling. Here we identify that colony stimulating factor 3 (CSF3), released during acute inflammation, mediates potent STAT3-dependent neutrophil IL-4Rα up-regulation during sterile inflammatory conditions. We further demonstrate that IL-4 limits neutrophil migration to inflamed joints, and that CSF3 combined with IL-4 or IL-13 results in a prominent neutrophil up-regulation of the inhibitory Fcγ receptor (FcγR2b). Taking these data together, we demonstrate that the IL-4 and CSF3 pathways are linked and play important roles in regulating proinflammatory neutrophil behavior.

Keywords: FcγR2b; IL-4; arthritis; inflammation; neutrophils.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Interleukin-4* / genetics
  • Interleukin-4* / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neutrophil Infiltration / physiology*
  • Neutrophils / metabolism*
  • Receptors, IgG / metabolism*


  • Fcgr2b protein, mouse
  • Receptors, IgG
  • Interleukin-4