Interleukin-4 receptor blockade prevents airway responses induced by antigen challenge in mice

Am J Physiol. 1997 Feb;272(2 Pt 1):L253-61. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.1997.272.2.L253.


The functional role of interleukin (IL)-4 in the development of airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and pulmonary eosinophilia in response to sensitization and challenge of mice with sheep red blood cells (SRBC) was examined. Control- and SRBC-sensitized A/J mice were treated with an antibody to the murine IL-4 receptor (anti-IL-4R) 3 days before intratracheal challenge with the antigen or vehicle only. Blockade of IL-4R significantly reduced antigen-induced AHR and prevented increases in goblet cells and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) eosinophils. Treatment with anti-IL-4R did not affect antigen-induced increases in lung mRNA and BAL protein levels of IL-5 and interferon-gamma or IL-4 mRNA but did significantly increase IL-4 protein levels. Antigen-induced AHR was not reduced by treatment with antibodies to the adhesion molecules, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and very late activation antigen-4. Administration of IL-4 over a 7-day period did not increase airway reactivity or induce any changes in BAL cell numbers in naive mice. These results demonstrate that IL-4 is necessary for in vivo development of antigen-induced AHR, goblet cell metaplasia, and pulmonary eosinophilia.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex / immunology
  • Antigens / immunology*
  • Antigens, CD / drug effects*
  • Antigens, CD / immunology
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / chemistry
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Integrin alpha4beta1
  • Integrins / immunology
  • Interleukin-4 / immunology
  • Lung / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Interleukin / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptors, Interleukin / drug effects*
  • Receptors, Interleukin / immunology
  • Receptors, Interleukin-4
  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing / immunology
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity / pathology
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity / prevention & control*
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / immunology


  • Anti-Allergic Agents
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex
  • Antigens
  • Antigens, CD
  • Cytokines
  • Integrin alpha4beta1
  • Integrins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Interleukin
  • Receptors, Interleukin-4
  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Interleukin-4