IL-4 regulates IL-2 induction of lymphokine-activated killer activity from human lymphocytes

Y. Kawakami, M. C. Custer, S. A. Rosenberg, M. T. Lotze

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92 Scopus citations


IL-4 is a pluripotent lymphokine acting on various cell types. We investigated the role of human IL-4 on the generation of lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) activity. Human IL-4 alone did not induce LAK activity and inhibited IL-2 induction of LAK activity from unstimulated PBMC, peripheral blood null cells, spleen cells, and lymph node cells in a dose-dependent manner. IL-4 also inhibited several phenomena induced by IL-2 such as cell proliferation, augmentation of NK activity, increase of Leu-19+ cells, and expression of IL-2R(p55) on either CD3+ or Leu-19+ cells. IL-4, however, augmented cell proliferation with other T cell mitogens including PHA, Con A, PMA, or allo-MHC Ag with or without IL-2. In contrast to unstimulated cells, IL-4 alone induced marked cell proliferation and LAK activity as well as Leu-19+ cells from in vitro IL-2 preactivated PBMC or null cells, and did not inhibit IL-2 induced cell proliferation, LAK activity, Leu-19+ cells and IL-2R(p55) expression, but rather augmented them with low doses of IL-2. Although IL-4 alone induced LAK activity from peripheral blood of some patients previously given IL-2, IL-4 inhibited in vitro LAK generation with IL-2 from these cells in most cases. Therefore, IL-4 appears to directly inhibit the IL-2 activation pathway via IL-2R(p70) and prevent resting LAK precursors from proliferating and differentiating into final effector cells. However, once cells were sufficiently preactivated by IL-2, IL-4 induced LAK activity and did not inhibit IL-2 activation of these cells. These data suggest an immunoregulatory role of IL-4 on human null cells and T cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3452-3461
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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