Inflammation pp 123-137 | Cite as

Recent Advances in Understanding How Interleukin 13 Signals are Involved in the Pathogenesis of Bronchial Asthma

  • Kenji Izuhara
  • Ritsuko Umeshita-Suyama
  • Mina Akaiwa
  • Taro Shirakawa
  • Klaus A. Deichmann
  • Kazuhiko Arima
  • Naotaka Hamasaki
  • Julian M. Hopkin


The prevalence of allergic disease has dramatically increased in recent decades, especially in urban and industrialized areas. Allergic diseases are disorders of the immune system, the results of complex interactions among various genetic and environmental factors. Among them, the important role of interleukin 13 (IL-13), a Th2-type cytokine, has recently emerged in the pathogenesis of bronchial asthma. Based on studies using mice, great attention has been paid to the direct effects of IL-13 on bronchial tissues. In this review, we describe recent advances in understanding the signal transduction mechanism of IL-13, the involvement of IL-13 signal-related genes as genetic factors in the pathogenesis of bronchial asthma, and the expression of IL-13 receptor on bronchial tissues. We describe potential strategies for targeting IL-13 signals to improve allergic states.

Key words

allergy interleukin 13 interleukin 4 bronchial asthma receptor. 





IL-4 receptor α chain


the common cytokine receptor γ chain


IL-13R α chain


Janus tyrosine kinase


signal transducer and activator of transcription


phosphatidylinositol 3


insulin receptor substrate






peripheral blood mononuclear cells






single nucleotide polymorphism.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenji Izuhara
    • 1
  • Ritsuko Umeshita-Suyama
    • 1
  • Mina Akaiwa
    • 1
  • Taro Shirakawa
    • 2
  • Klaus A. Deichmann
    • 3
  • Kazuhiko Arima
    • 1
  • Naotaka Hamasaki
    • 1
  • Julian M. Hopkin
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Graduate School of Medical SciencesKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Experimental Medicine UnitUniversity of Wales SwanseaSwanseaUK
  3. 3.University Children’s HospitalUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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