Indexed on: 25 Jan '17Published on: 25 Jan '17Published in: Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Polymorphisms in genes involved in IL-4 responses segregate with allergic disease risk and correlate with IgE levels in humans, and IL-4 promotes IgE and IgG1 Ab production against allergens in mice. We report that mice with only one intact Il4 gene copy are significantly impaired in their ability to make specific IgE responses against allergens, whereas IgG1 responses to allergens remain unaffected. Il4-hemizygosity also resulted in a modest but detectable drop in IL-4 production by CD4(+) T cells isolated from lymph nodes and prevented IgE-dependent oral allergen-induced diarrhea. We conclude that a state of haploinsufficiency for the Il4 gene locus is specifically relevant for IL-4-dependent IgE responses to allergens with the amount of IL-4 produced in the hemizygous condition falling close to the threshold required for switching to IgE production. These results may be relevant for how polymorphisms in genes affecting IL-4 responses influence the risk of IgE-mediated allergic disease in humans.