An update on interleukin-4 and its receptor

Eur Cytokine Netw. 1997 Dec;8(4):333-44.


Interleukin-4 (IL-4) exhibits many biological and immunoregulatory functions on B lymphocytes, monocytes, dendritic cells and fibroblasts. The IL-4 gene is located on chromosome 5 and displays several cell-specific regulatory sequences in its promoter, which explain its restricted secretion pattern to activated T cells and mast cells. The IL-4 receptor is multimeric and is constituted by at least IL-4Ralpha, a chain common to other cytokine receptors. Two types of IL-4 receptors have been defined: one constituted by the IL-4Ralpha and the gamma(c) chain, and a second constituted by the IL-4Ralpha and the IL-13Ralpha, which is able to transduce both IL-4 and IL-13 signals. Major events of IL-4 transducing signal have now been elucidated and are known to be mediated through JAK/IRS-2 and STAT6 pathways. Numerous studies have also demonstrated the key regulatory role of IL-4 in allergic responses as well as its anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory effects.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells
  • Basophils / immunology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-4 / genetics
  • Interleukin-4 / physiology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mast Cells / immunology
  • Receptors, Interleukin-4 / physiology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Receptors, Interleukin-4
  • Interleukin-4