Comparison of the functional properties of IL4 and IL13

Despite the structural and functional similarities between IL-4 and IL-13, there are also important differences (Table 1), which implies that IL-4 and IL-13 are likely to have distinct roles in the regulation of immune responses in vivo.

In contrast to IL-4, IL-13 does not have growth-promoting effects on activated human peripheral blood CD4+ or CD8+ T cells or T cell clones, and does not direct TH2 cell differentiation. However, IL-13 may indirectly affect T cell functions and T cell differentiation through its downregulatory effects on the production of IL-12 and interferon a (IFNa), which direct TH1 development. These differential effects of IL-4 and IL-13 on activated T cells appear to be due to absence of high affinity IL-13R complexes on these cells.

In addition to T cells, B cell precursors differ in their responses to IL-4 and IL-13. Both IL-4 and IL-13 induce proliferation and differentiation of immature CD19+, sp+ fetal B cells, but in contrast to

Table 1 Functional properties of human IL-13 in comparison with IL-4

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