Interleukin-4 is a neutrophil activator

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We investigated the ability of the lymphokine, interleukin-4 (IL-4), to function as a neutrophil (PMN) activator. IL-4 enhanced PMN-mediated killing of opsonized bacteria (by up to 91.6% at 3 units of IL-4; p < 0.05). IL-4 was a weak secondary granule secretagogue and did not by itself generate a respiratory burst. However, IL-4 did increase in a dose-dependent fashion the respiratory burst mediated by the peptide formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (10-7 mol/L). Maximal potentiation of PMN activity occurred at 100 units of IL-4 (6.3 nmol superoxide produced without IL-4 to 9.8 nmol at 100 units; p < 0.01). Enhancement of the respiratory burst was not a generalized phenomenon, since IL-4 did not potentiate the respiratory burst mediated by either phorbol myristate acetate, calcium ionophore A23187, or zymosan-treated serum. Similarly, IL-4 potentiated the formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine-stimulated secretion of both lysozyme (40.2%) and β-glucuronidase (108.2%). Finally, IL-4 was demonstrated to enhance the ability of PMN to phagocytose sheep erythrocytes opsonized with rabbit IgG (by up to 94.2% at 30 units of IL-4). This increased phagocytosis correlated with the recruitment of a population of PMNs that did not phagocytose targets in the absence of IL-4. In conclusion, IL-4 enhanced neutrophil-mediated bactericidal activity. This increase may have occurred secondary to the stimulation of phagocytosis by IL-4 or by potentiation of degranulation and the respiratory burst. © 1989.




Boey, H., Rosenbaum, R., Castracane, J., & Borish, L. (1989). Interleukin-4 is a neutrophil activator. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 83(5), 978–984.

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