Interleukin-4 interleukin-13, signal transducer and activator of transcription factor 6, and allergic asthma

Douglas A. Kuperman*, Robert P. Schleimer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


Interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 share many biological activities. To some extent, this is because they both signal via a shared receptor, IL-ARα Ligation of IL-4Rα results in activation of Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription factor 6 (STAT6) and Insulin Receptor Substrate (IRS) molecules. In T- and B-cells, IL-4Rα signaling contributes to cell-mediated and humoral aspects of allergic inflammation. It has recently become clear that IL-4 and JL-13 produced in inflamed tissues activate signaling in normally resident cells of the airway. The purpose of this review is to critically evaluate the contributions of IL-4- and IL-13-induced tissue responses, especially those mediated by STAT6, to some of the pathologic features of asthma including eosinophilic inflammation, airway hyperresponsiveness, subepithelial fibrosis and excessive mucus production. We also review the functions of some recently identified IL-4- and/or IL-13-induced mediators that provide some detail on molecular mechanisms and suggest an important contribution to host defense.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-392
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Molecular Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Airway hyperresponsiveness
  • Allergy
  • Asthma
  • Fibrosis
  • IL-13
  • IL-4
  • Inflammation
  • Mucus
  • STAT6

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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