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Concept: Interleukin 4


Background Dupilumab, a human monoclonal antibody against interleukin-4 receptor alpha, inhibits signaling of interleukin-4 and interleukin-13, type 2 cytokines that may be important drivers of atopic or allergic diseases such as atopic dermatitis. Methods In two randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trials of identical design (SOLO 1 and SOLO 2), we enrolled adults with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis whose disease was inadequately controlled by topical treatment. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive, for 16 weeks, subcutaneous dupilumab (300 mg) or placebo weekly or the same dose of dupilumab every other week alternating with placebo. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients who had both a score of 0 or 1 (clear or almost clear) on the Investigator’s Global Assessment and a reduction of 2 points or more in that score from baseline at week 16. Results We enrolled 671 patients in SOLO 1 and 708 in SOLO 2. In SOLO 1, the primary outcome occurred in 85 patients (38%) who received dupilumab every other week and in 83 (37%) who received dupilumab weekly, as compared with 23 (10%) who received placebo (P<0.001 for both comparisons with placebo). The results were similar in SOLO 2, with the primary outcome occurring in 84 patients (36%) who received dupilumab every other week and in 87 (36%) who received dupilumab weekly, as compared with 20 (8%) who received placebo (P<0.001 for both comparisons). In addition, in the two trials, an improvement from baseline to week 16 of at least 75% on the Eczema Area and Severity Index was reported in significantly more patients who received each regimen of dupilumab than in patients who received placebo (P<0.001 for all comparisons). Dupilumab was also associated with improvement in other clinical end points, including reduction in pruritus and symptoms of anxiety or depression and improvement in quality of life. Injection-site reactions and conjunctivitis were more frequent in the dupilumab groups than in the placebo groups. Conclusions In two phase 3 trials of identical design involving patients with atopic dermatitis, dupilumab improved the signs and symptoms of atopic dermatitis, including pruritus, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and quality of life, as compared with placebo. Trials of longer duration are needed to assess the long-term effectiveness and safety of dupilumab. (Funded by Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals; SOLO 1 number, NCT02277743 ; SOLO 2 number, NCT02277769 .).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Cytokine, Monoclonal antibodies,, Allergy, Placebo, Interleukin 4, Regeneron


Human bispecific antibodies have great potential for the treatment of human diseases. Although human IgG1 bispecific antibodies have been generated, few attempts have been reported in the scientific literature that extend bispecific antibodies to other human antibody isotypes. In this paper, we report our work expanding the knobs-into-holes bispecific antibody technology to the human IgG4 isotype. We apply this approach to generate a bispecific antibody that targets IL-4 and IL-13, two cytokines that play roles in type 2 inflammation. We show that IgG4 bispecific antibodies can be generated in large quantities with equivalent efficiency and quality and have comparable pharmacokinetic properties and lung partitioning, compared to the IgG1 isotype. This work broadens the range of published therapeutic bispecific antibodies with natural surface architecture and provides additional options for the generation of bispecific antibodies with differing effector functions through the use of different antibody isotypes.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Fc receptor, Cytokine, Asthma, Science, Interleukin 4, Interleukin 13


Adoptive transfer of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) has been used as an immunotherapy in melanoma. However, the tumor homing and therapeutic efficacy of transferred CTLs against melanoma remain unsatisfactory. Interleukin-4 receptor (IL-4R) is commonly up-regulated in tumors including melanoma. Here, we studied whether IL-4R-targeted CTLs exhibit enhanced tumor homing and therapeutic efficacy against melanoma. CTLs isolated from mice bearing melanomas were non-genetically engineered with IL4RPep-1, an IL-4R-binding peptide, using a membrane anchor composed of dioleylphosphatidylethanolamine. Compared to control CTLs, IL-4R-targeted CTLs showed higher binding to melanoma cells and in vivo tumor homing. They also exerted a more rapid and robust effector response, including increased cytokine secretion and cytotoxicity against melanoma cells and enhanced reprogramming of M2-type macrophages to M1-type macrophages. Moreover, IL-4R-targeted CTLs efficiently inhibited melanoma growth and reversed the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. These results suggest that non-genetically engineered CTLs targeting IL-4R have potential as an adoptive T cell therapy against melanoma.

Concepts: White blood cell, Natural killer cell, T cell, Cytotoxic T cell, Cytotoxicity, MHC class I, Interleukin 4, Interleukin-4 receptor


Pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines may influence proliferation, migration, invasion and other cellular events of prostate cancer (PCa) cells. The hyaluronan receptor CD44, which is regulated by Interleukin (IL)-4, is a prostate basal cell marker. CD44high /CD49bhigh expressing cells have been demonstrated to have tumor-initiating characteristics. Here, we aimed to analyze the effects of long-term IL-4 treatment on CD44/CD49b expression, migration, proliferation and clonogenic potential of basal-like PCa cells. To this end PC3 cells were treated over 30 passages with 5 ng/ml IL-4 (PC3-IL4) resulting in an increased population of CD44high expressing cells. This was concurrent with a clonal outgrowth of cuboid-shaped cells, with increased size and light absorbance properties. Flow cytometry revealed that the PC3-IL4 CD44high expressing subpopulation corresponds to the CD49bhigh population. Isolation of the PC3-IL4 CD44high /CD49bhigh subpopulation via fluorescence-associated cell sorting showed increased migrative, proliferative and clonogenic potential compared to the CD44low /CD49blow subpopulation. In conclusion, IL-4 increases a PC3 subpopulation with tumor-initiating characteristics. Thus, IL-4, similar to other cytokines may be a regulator of tumor-initiation and hence, may present a suitable therapy target in combination with current treatment options. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Cancer, Cytokine, Cell biology, Prostate cancer, Flow cytometry, All rights reserved, Copyright, Interleukin 4


An interleukin 4 receptor genetic variant (IL4Rα-Q576R) is common in children of African ancestry. There is a gene-environment interaction between this variant, school endotoxin exposure, and asthma symptoms.

Concepts: Immune system, Interleukin 4, Interleukin-4 receptor


Four unusual meroterpenoids, dysivillosins A-D (1-4), were isolated from an organic extract of the marine sponge Dysidea villosa collected from the South China Sea. Their planar structures were determined by 1D and 2D NMR and HRESIMS techniques, while the relative and absolute configurations were elucidated by NOESY experiments and comparison between the calculated and experimental ECD spectra. To the best of our knowledge, dysivillosins A-D are the first examples of terpene-polyketide-pyridine hybrid metabolites from the nature. Anti-allergic activity evaluation showed that compounds 1-4 potently inhibited the release of β-hexosaminidase, a marker of degranulation, in a dose-dependent manner with IC50 values of 8.2-19.9 μM. Additionally, the four meroterpenoids could downregulate the production of lipid mediator leukotrienes B4 (LTB4) and pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-4 (IL-4) in the antigen-stimulated RBL-2H3 mast cells. Further biological investigations revealed that dysivillosin A (1) could suppress the phosphorylation of Syk and PLCγ1 in IgE/FcɛRI/Syk signaling pathway, which resulted in the inhibition of degranulation and the downregulation of LTB4 and IL-4 production in mast cells.

Concepts: Immune system, Cytokine, Cell biology, Mast cell, Degranulation, Leukotriene, South China Sea, Interleukin 4


The absence or presence of root resorption on the surface of a replanted tooth indicates an immune-inflammatory reaction. Recent research even suggests the participation of host predominant immunologic profile on types of resorptions detected on the root surface. Because interleukin 4 (IL-4) is an important anti-inflammatory cytokine, this study aimed to investigate the association of clinical variables and polymorphisms in IL4 with types of resorption of replanted teeth after 1 year of follow-up.

Concepts: Cytokine, The Association, Tooth, Interleukin 4, Interleukin-4 receptor


Microglia can be polarized into the classical (M1) or alternative (M2) activation states in response to various stimuli. The M2 phenotype has its own set of receptor profiles, cytokine production, and chemokine secretion, of which arginase 1 (Arg1), chitinase 3-like 3 (Chi3l3, Ym1), and IL-10 have neuroprotective properties. Sevoflurane is one of the most commonly used volatile anesthetics in clinics. Previous studies have shown that sevoflurane promotes microglial M1 activation. However, it remains unclear whether sevoflurane regulates microglial M2 activation. In this study, we found that sevoflurane treatment abolished interleukin 4 (IL-4)-induced M2 microglial activation. Our results indicate that IL-4-mediated induction of the characteristic M2 marker genes and proteins Arg1, Ym1, and IL-10 was significantly attenuated by sevoflurane pretreatment in primary microglia. Microglial M2 polarization induced by incubation with culture supernatant from human umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells (HUC-MSCs) was abolished by treatment with 2% or 4% sevoflurane. Upregulation of SOCS1 and suppression of SOCS3 were shown to play a crucial role in the process of M2 microglial polarization. Our results also indicate that SOCS1 expression was induced by IL-4, but it was inhibited by pretreatment with sevoflurane. In contrast, IL-4 suppressed SOCS3 expression, which was restored by pretreatment with sevoflurane. Mechanistically, it was shown that sevoflurane suppresses STAT6 phosphorylation in primary microglia.

Concepts: Protein, Gene, Cytokine, Signal transduction, Mesenchymal stem cell, Umbilical cord, Urea cycle, Interleukin 4


The spatiotemporal organization of cytokine receptors in the plasma membrane is still debated with models ranging from ligand-independent receptor pre-dimerization to ligand-induced receptor dimerization occurring only after receptor uptake into endosomes. Here, we explore the molecular and cellular determinants governing the assembly of the type II interleukin-4 receptor, taking advantage of various agonists binding the receptor subunits with different affinities and rate constants. Quantitative kinetic studies using artificial membranes confirm that receptor dimerization is governed by the two-dimensional ligand-receptor interactions and identify a critical role of the transmembrane domain in receptor dimerization. Single molecule localization microscopy at physiological cell surface expression levels, however, reveals efficient ligand-induced receptor dimerization by all ligands, largely independent of receptor binding affinities, in line with the similar STAT6 activation potencies observed for all IL-4 variants. Detailed spatiotemporal analyses suggest that kinetic trapping of receptor dimers in actin-dependent microcompartments sustains robust receptor dimerization and signalling.

Concepts: Protein, Signal transduction, Cell membrane, Receptor, Receptor antagonist, Interleukin 4, Interleukin-4 receptor, Cytokine receptors


Age is the most prominent risk factor for the development of postoperative cognitive dysfunction. This study investigated the potential role of anti-inflammatory interleukin (IL)-4 in age-related differences of surgery-induced cognitive deficits and neuroinflammatory responses. Both adult and aged Sprague-Dawley male rats were subjected to partial hepatectomy or partial hepatectomy with a cisterna magna infusion of IL-4. On postoperative days 1, 3, and 7, the rats were subjected to a reversed Morris water maze test. Hippocampal IL-1β, IL-6, IL-4, and IL-4 receptor (IL-4R) were measured at each time point. Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), synaptophysin, Ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 (Iba-1), microglial M2 phenotype marker Arg1, and CD200 were also examined in the hippocampus. Age induced an exacerbated cognitive impairment and an amplified neuroinflammatory response triggered by surgical stress on postoperative days 1 and 3. A corresponding decline in the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-4 and BDNF were also found in the aged rats at the same time point. Treatment with IL-4 downregulated the expression of proinflammatory cytokines (e.g., IL-1β and IL-6), increased the levels of BDNF and synaptophysin in the brain and improved the behavioral performance. An increased Arg1 expression and a high level of CD200 were also observed after a cisterna magna infusion of IL-4. An age-related decrease in IL-4 expression exacerbated surgery-induced cognitive deficits and exaggerated the neuroinflammatory responses. Treatment with IL-4 potentially attenuated these effects by enhancing BDNF and synaptophysin expression, inhibiting microglia activation and decreasing the associated production of proinflammatory cytokines.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Brain, Cytokine, Hippocampus, Interleukin, Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, Interleukin 4