Cloning of guinea pig IL-4: Reduced IL-4 mRNA after vaccination or Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection

Amminikutty Jeevan, Teizo Yoshimura, Lan H. Ly, Vijaya R. Dirisala, David N. McMurray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Interleukin-4 (IL-4), a pleiotropic cytokine produced by T-helper type 2 (Th2) cells, is involved in promoting humoral immune responses, allergic reactions and asthma. Previous studies suggested an important role for IL-4 in susceptibility to pulmonary tuberculosis; however, the role of IL-4 has not been studied in the guinea pig, a highly relevant model for this disease. In the present study, we cloned a cDNA for guinea pig IL-4 and examined, for the first time, mRNA expression by real-time RT-PCR in cultured guinea pig cells. High levels of IL-4 mRNA expression were detected in spleen T cells of naïve animals after in vitro stimulation with PMA plus ionomycin for 4-24 h. The expression of IL-4 mRNA was low in spleen and lymph node cells immunized with ovalbumin (OVA) plus Complete Freund's Adjuvant (CFA) in response to OVA (Th1), but significantly higher in the guinea pigs immunized with OVA plus alum (Th2). BCG vaccination reduced the expression of IL-4 mRNA in both spleen and lung digest cells compared to naïve guinea pigs, while levels of IFN-γ were similar in both groups. Furthermore, lung cells from Mycobacterium tuberculosis-infected guinea pigs stimulated in vitro with PPD or MPT64 showed low levels of IL-4 mRNA expression. Thus, BCG vaccination or M. tuberculosis infection modulates IL-4 mRNA expression in the guinea pig. Cloning of guinea pig IL-4 will allow us to address the role of IL-4 in vaccine-induced resistance to pulmonary TB in a highly relevant animal model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • BCG
  • Guinea pig
  • IL-4
  • M. tuberculosis
  • PMA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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