Differences in expression, affinity, and function of soluble (s)IL-4Rα and sIL-13Rα2 suggest opposite effects on allergic responses

Marat Khodoun, Christina Lewis, Jun Qi Yang, Tatyana Orekov, Crystal Potter, Thomas Wynn, Margaret Mentink-Kane, Gurjit K. Khurana Hershey, Marsha Wills-Karp, Fred D. Finkelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


IL-4 and IL-13 are each bound by soluble receptors (sRs) that block their activity. Both of these sRs (sIL-4Rα and sIL-13Rα2) are present in low nanogram per milliliter concentrations in the serum from unstimulated mice, but differences in affinity and half-life suggest differences in function. Serum IL-4/sIL-4Rα complexes rapidly dissociate, releasing active IL-4, whereas sIL-13Rα2 and IL-13 form a stable complex that has a considerably longer half-life than uncomplexed IL-13, sIL-13Rα2, IL-4, or sIL-4Rα. Approximately 25% of sIL-13Rα2 in serum is complexed to IL-13; this percentage and the absolute quantity of sIL-13Rα2 in serum increase considerably during a Th2 response. sIL-13Rα2 gene expression is up-regulated by both IL-4 and IL-13; the effect of IL-4 is totally IL-4Rα-dependent while the effect of IL-13 is partially IL-4Rα-independent. Inhalation of an IL-13/ sIL-13Rα2 complex does not affect the expression of IL-13-inducible genes but increases the expression of two genes, Vnn1 and Pira-1, whose products activate APCs and promote neutrophilic inflammation. These observations suggest that sIL-4Rα predominantly sustains, increases, and diffuses the effects of IL-4, whereas sIL-13Rα2 limits the direct effects of IL-13 to the site of IL-13 production and forms a stable complex with IL-13 that may modify the quality and intensity of an allergic inflammatory response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6429-6438
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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