Indexed on: 06 May '15Published on: 06 May '15Published in: Cellular & Molecular Immunology
Interleukin 4 (IL-4) has a variety of immune functions, including helper T-cell (Th-cell) differentiation and innate immune-response processes. However, the impact of IL-4 on gamma delta (γδ) T cells remains unclear. In this study, we investigate the effects of IL-4 on the activation and proliferation of γδ T cells and the balance between variable delta 1 (Vδ1) and Vδ2 T cells in humans. The results show that IL-4 inhibits the activation of γδ T cells in the presence of γδ T-cell receptor (TCR) stimulation in a STAT6-dependent manner. IL-4 promoted the growth of activated γδ T cells and increased the levels of Vδ1 T cells, which in turn inhibited Vδ2 T-cell growth via significant IL-10 secretion. Vδ1 T cells secreted significantly less interferon gamma (IFNγ) and more IL-10 relative to Vδ2. Furthermore, Vδ1 T cells showed relatively low levels of Natural Killer Group 2D (NKG2D) expression in the presence of IL-4, suggesting that Vδ1 T cells weaken the γδ T cell-mediated anti-tumor immune response. For the first time, our findings demonstrate a negative regulatory role of IL-4 in γδ T cell-mediated anti-tumor immunity.