Effects of IL13 on B lymphocytes

IL-13 induces IgG4 and IgE synthesis by human B cells cultured in the presence of activated CD4' T cells, anti-CD40 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) or CD40 ligand (L) transfectants. In contrast to human B cells, IL-13 does not induce IgE by mouse B cells under conditions that induce IgE switching in response to IL-4, suggesting that mouse B cells lack functional IL-13R complexes. However, IL-4-deficient mice produce low levels of IgE in vivo, following viral or parasite infections, indicating that IL-4-independent IgE synthesis occurs in these mice. However, it is not known whether this IgEl production is mediated by IL-13.

The effects of IL-13 on human B cells are largely similar to those of IL-4, but IL-13 is generally less potent than IL-4 in inducing IgE synthesis.

IL-13 modulates the phenotype of normal human B cells. It upregulates the expression of CD23, CD71, CD72, surface IgM (slgM) and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules on purified human B cells. IL-13 has growth-promoting activity on normal B cells stimulated by anti-IgM or anti-CD40 mAbs, but it inhibits IL-2-induced proliferation of chronic lymphocytic leukemia B cells, suggesting that IL-13 has antiproliferative effects on malignant B cells.

IL-13 does not have additive or synergistic effects with IL-4 when both cytokines are added at optimal concentrations, which is consistent with the observation that the receptors for IL-4 and IL-13 share a common component, which is important for signal transduction.

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