STAT6-independent production of IL-4 by mast cells.
The acquisition of an IL-4-producing phenotype in Th2 cells requires IL-4 signaling through the STAT6 pathway during T cell differentiation. In this study we demonstrate that, unlike in naive T cells, IL-4 is not necessary for the development of an IL-4-producing phenotype in mast cells. Bone marrow-derived mast cell precursors from STAT6-/- mice can differentiate into mature cells that express IL-4 levels comparable to those of wild-type mast cells. In differentiated mast cells, activation in the presence of neutralizing anti-IL-4 antibodies or mutation of the consensus STAT6 sites does not diminish IL-4 promoter activity, indicating that IL-4 is not required for active transcription. Taken together, these data suggest that mast cell IL-4 production is not STAT6 dependent, providing evidence that these cells could generate IL-4 needed for the initiation and amplification of an effective Th2 immune response.
Sherman, MA; Secor, VH; Lee, SK; Lopez, RD; Brown, MA
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