The Journal of experimental medicine

IL-4-Stat6 signaling induces tristetraprolin expression and inhibits TNF-alpha production in mast cells.

PMID 14638848


Increasing evidence has revealed that mast cell-derived tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) plays a critical role in a number of inflammatory responses by recruiting inflammatory leukocytes. In this paper, we investigated the regulatory role of interleukin 4 (IL-4) in TNF-alpha production in mast cells. IL-4 inhibited immunoglobulin E-induced TNF-alpha production and neutrophil recruitment in the peritoneal cavity in wild-type mice but not in signal transducers and activators of transcription 6 (Stat6)-deficient mice. IL-4 also inhibited TNF-alpha production in cultured mast cells by a Stat6-dependent mechanism. IL-4-Stat6 signaling induced TNF-alpha mRNA destabilization in an AU-rich element (ARE)-dependent manner, but did not affect TNF-alpha promoter activity. Furthermore, IL-4 induced the expression of tristetraprolin (TTP), an RNA-binding protein that promotes decay of ARE-containing mRNA, in mast cells by a Stat6-dependent mechanism, and the depletion of TTP expression by RNA interference prevented IL-4-induced down-regulation of TNF-alpha production in mast cells. These results suggest that IL-4-Stat6 signaling induces TTP expression and, thus, destabilizes TNF-alpha mRNA in an ARE-dependent manner.