Here we report that IL-4 specifically enhances cell surface expression of CXCR4 on resting peripheral and cord blood T cells. Whereas polarized Th2 clones express variable levels of CXCR4, expression of this receptor is undetectable on polarized Th1 clones but can be induced on the latter cells as well, following short-term culture in the presence of IL-4. The IL-4-induced CXCR4 is functional since interaction with its ligand, stromal-derived factor (SDF)-1, activates the p42 MAP-kinase ERK-2. In addition, although CXCR4 expression is down-regulated following stimulation of T cells and T cell clones via CD28 or CD3 and CD2 cell surface molecules, respectively, it is re-induced by IL-4. These data indicate an important role for IL-4 in rendering CD4+ T cells susceptible to infection with HIV via CXCR4, as well as in promoting SDF-1-induced migration of these cells.
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