Lymphokine regulation of inflammatory processes: interleukin-4 stimulates fibroblast proliferation

Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1988 Nov;49(2):292-8. doi: 10.1016/0090-1229(88)90119-5.


While recent evidence from several laboratories has shown that interleukin-4 (IL-4) can act on a number of cells in addition to B lymphocytes, these have thus far been limited to cells of the hematopoietic lineage. Here we report that murine IL-4 promotes DNA synthesis in both primary and immortalized fibroblasts. Marked stimulation of [3H]thymidine incorporation was observed for primary skin fibroblasts or Balb/c3T3 cells stimulated with HPLC- or immunoaffinity-purified as well as recombinant IL-4. Responses to immunoaffinity and recombinant IL-4 were completely blocked with anti-IL-4 antibody. Similar dose/response relationships were observed for recombinant IL-4 on skin fibroblasts and an IL-4 responsive murine T cell tumor, suggesting that the receptors for this lymphokine on these cells is similar. Together, these results show that IL-4 can cause DNA synthesis by murine fibroblasts presumably through ligand-receptor interactions at the cell surface. Implications of these findings to inflammation during an immune response is discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division / drug effects*
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
  • Fibroblasts / cytology*
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interleukins / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects


  • Interleukins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Interleukin-4
  • DNA