Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy

, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 79–85 | Cite as

Role of IL-13 in regulation of anti-tumor immunity and tumor growth

  • Masaki TerabeEmail author
  • Jong Myun Park
  • Jay A. Berzofsky
Symposium in Writing


Major mediators of anti-tumor immunity are CD4+ T h 1 cells and CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). In tumor-bearing animals, the T h 1- and CTL-mediated anti-tumor immunity is down-regulated in multiple ways. Better understanding of negative regulatory pathways of tumor immunity is crucial for the development of anti-tumor vaccines and immunotherapies. Since immune deviation toward T h 2 suppresses T h 1 development, it has been thought that induction affecting a T h 2 immune response is one of the mechanisms that down-regulate effective tumor immune responses. Recent studies using T h 2-deficient signal transducer and activator (Stat6) KO mice demonstrated that this hypothesis was the case. IL-13 is one of the T h 2 cytokines that has very similar features to IL-4 through sharing some receptor components and Stat6 signal transduction. It has been thought that IL-13 is not as critical for immune deviation as IL-4 since it cannot directly act on T cells. However, recent studies of IL-13 reveal that this cytokine plays a critical role in many aspects of immune regulation. Studies from our lab and others indicate that IL-13 is central to a novel immunoregulatory pathway in which NKT cells suppress tumor immunosurveillance. Here we will describe biological properties and functions of IL-13, its role in the negative regulation of anti-tumor immunity, and effects of IL-13 on tumor cells themselves.


Cerebral Malaria Tumor Rejection Immune Deviation Tumor Immunosurveillance Negative Regulatory Pathway 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masaki Terabe
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jong Myun Park
    • 1
  • Jay A. Berzofsky
    • 1
  1. 1.Molecular Immunogenetics and Vaccine Research Section, Metabolism Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer InstituteNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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