Regulation of murine macrophage function by IL-4: IL-4 and IFN-γ differentially regulate macrophage tumoricidal activation

K. Suk, S. D. Somers, Kent L Erickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


To understand the differential role of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) in the process of macrophage tumoricidal activation, we investigated the production of tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and nitric oxide in activated murine macrophages and the effects of those lymphokines on prostaglandin E2 (PGE2)-mediated down-regulation. IFN-γ and IL-4 increased lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced TNF-α production by different mechanisms because IL-4, unlike IFN-γ, failed to overcome the LPS-hyporesponsiveness in C3H/HeJ mice. Moreover, only IFN-γ synergized with LPS to induce nitric oxide production and blocked eicosanoid-mediated down-regulation. These differential effects of IFN-γ and IL-4 on the select efferent cytolytic activities may be the result of an altered or different signal transduction pathway. Because potentiation of protein kinase C (PKC) activity by IFN-γ has been previously documented, we next studied the role of IFN-γ and IL-4 in alteration of enzymatic activity of PKC. Two lymphokines caused translocation of PKC from cytosol to membrane with different levels, providing a biochemical basis for explaining how two lymphokines lead to different phenotypic responses. Although treatment of macrophages with IFN-γ and IL-4 gave rise to a similar enhancing effect on macrophage TNF-α production, these two lymphokines appeared to differentially regulate the overall functional state of macrophages for tumour cell killing capability. Additionally, this differential regulation seems to be accomplished in part by different biochemical events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-624
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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