Role of profibrogenic cytokines secreted by T cells in fibrotic processes in scleroderma

Tracy L. McGaha, Constantin A. Bona

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


IL-4 is potentially a major profibrogenic cytokine upregulating the expression of collagen genes. In vivo studies have shown that the disruption of STAT6, IL-4R, IL-4 or transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) genes in TSK mice, which develop scleroderma-like syndrome, prevented the occurrence of skin sclerosis and of autoantibodies. Additionally, it is known that the homozygosity of TSK mutation is lethal and the embryos die by day 7-8 of pregnancy. The disruption of IL-4 gene rescued from death TSK/TSK mice suggesting a role for IL-4 in embryonic development. Since TGF-β should compensate the lack of IL-4 on regulation of collagen gene expression, we have studied the effect of IL-4 on the expression of TGF-β gene. Our results showed IL-4 dependence of the transcription of TGF-β gene and that in both TSK/+ and TSK/TSK IL-4-/- mice the expression of TGF-β gene is impaired.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-181
Number of pages8
JournalAutoimmunity Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytokines
  • Scleroderma
  • Tight skin mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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