In vivo studies fail to reveal a role for IL-4 or STAT6 signaling in Th2 lymphocyte differentiation

Nicholas J. Van Panhuys, Shiau Choot Tang, Melanie Prout, Mali Camberis, Debbie Scarlett, Joanna Roberts, Jane Hu-Li, William E. Paul, Graham Le Gros

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90 Citations (Scopus)


The expression of interleukin-4 (IL-4) is viewed as the hallmark of a Th2 lymphocyte, whereas the subsequent action of IL-4 and IL-13, mediated through the STAT6 signaling pathway, is seen as a prerequisite for the full development of Th2 immune responses to parasites and allergens. G4 mice, whose IL-4 gene locus contains the fluorescent reporter eGFP, were used to quantify the number of Th2 cells that develop during Nippostrongylus brasiliensis- or allergen-induced immune responses under conditions where IL-4 or STAT6 was absent. Here, we show that deletion of IL-4 or STAT6 had little impact on the number or timing of appearance of IL-4-producing Th2 cells. These data indicate that in vivo differentiation of naïve CD4 T cells to Th2 status often occurs independently of IL-4 and STAT6 and that recently described pathways of Th2 cell differentiation may explain how allergens and parasites selectively induce Th2-mediated immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12423-12428
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes



  • Allergen
  • Asthma
  • Cytokine
  • Nippostrongylus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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