Interleukin-13 but not interleukin-4 prolongs eosinophil survival and induces eosinophil chemotaxis

Intern Med. 1997 Mar;36(3):179-85. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.36.179.


The effects of recombinant human (rh) interleukin (IL)-4 or rhIL-13 on survival, and chemotactic activity of human eosinophils were examined. Only rhIL-13 prolonged eosinophil survival in a dose-dependent manner above 3 ng/ml. Eosinophil survival induced by rhIL-13 was inhibited by monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against IL-3 (p < 0.01) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) (p < 0.05), suggesting that rhIL-13 induced IL-3 and GM-CSF production from eosinophils and an autocrine mechanism is responsible for the eosinophil survival. The effects of rhIL-13 on eosinophil chemotactic activity were also examined. rhIL-13 showed chemotactic activity for eosinophils in a dose-dependent manner. Checkerboard analysis revealed that eosinophil migration was dependent on the concentration gradient, confirming that rhIL-13 is a chemotactic factor. rhIL-4 showed no effects. IL-13 may play an important role in the survival and recruitment of eosinophils in allergic diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Degranulation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
  • Eosinophils / cytology
  • Eosinophils / immunology
  • Eosinophils / physiology*
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / biosynthesis
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-13 / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-3 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-4*
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology


  • Interleukin-13
  • Interleukin-3
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Interleukin-4
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor