Pro- and Anti-inflammatory Effects of IL-4: From Studies in Mice to Therapy of Autoimmune Diseases in Humans

  • T. Biedermann
  • M. Röcken
Part of the Ernst Schering Research Foundation Workshop book series (SCHERING FOUND, volume 50)

13.5 Conclusion

Together the detailed analyses of the actions of IL-4 in various disease and immunization protocols indicated that one single cytokine may exert opposing effects on the development of immune responses. The biological effect of IL-4 depends on the primary target cell of this cytokine during an immune reaction, and factors such as the time of cytokine application and concentration during various phases of immune responses ultimately determine whether this cytokine has pro- or anti-inflammatory effects. Similar findings have been reported for other “paradoxical” cytokines, including IFN-γ, IL-10, and IL-12. Therefore the biological significance of cytokines and especially their use in clinical trials requires a critical review of the underlying animal experiments, including factors such as time, dose, and frequency of application.


Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis Inflammatory Autoimmune Disease Immune Deviation Primary Target Cell Severe Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Biedermann
    • 1
  • M. Röcken
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of DermatologyEberhard-Karls-Universität TübingenTübingenGermany

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