Interleukin-4 (IL-4) is involved in the regulation of various functions of B cells, T cells, macrophages, and other hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic cells. IL-4 gene is expressed in two mRNA forms: 1) full-length form containing all four exons and 2) alternatively spliced mRNA form, known as interleukin-4 delta 2 (IL-4δ2), in which exon 2 is omitted. Of particular interest to the IL-4 and IL-4δ2 is their role in the pathogenesis of allergic, inflammatory, autoimmune and infectious diseases. The functional effects of IL-4 and IL-4δ2 on cytokine production by T lymphocytes of patients with bronchial asthma have been studied. Supernatant levels of IFN-γ, IL-6, IL-10, and TNFα after treatment of T cells with IL-4 or IL-4δ2 were detectable, but not statistically different in the groups tested. A statistically significant decrease in concentrations of MCP-1 was observed in supernatants of T cells treated with IL-4. In contrast, IL-4δ2 significantly upregulated MCP-1 expression in both groups. MCP-1 levels showed no statistically significant differences between healthy donors and asthmatic patients. These results expand the spectrum of the antagonistic activities of hIL-4 and rhIL-4δ2, thus creating the background for the potential use of rhIL-4δ2 in clinical practice.
Key words:cytokines; interleukin-4 delta 2; macrophage chemoattractant protein (MCP-1); bronchial asthma