Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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IL-13; IL- 13; NC30; P600

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Interleukin-13 (IL-13) is a pleiotropic immunoregulatory cytokine that acts via the IL-13Ra1/IL-4Ra complex. Its functions are similar to those of interleukin-4, and both cytokines share the same receptor. Interleukin-13 has only a weak affinity to its receptor. A high-affinity binding is only achieved by co-expression with the interleukin-4 receptor. Besides the membrane-bound receptor, soluble sIL-13R is also detected.

The gene coding for interleukin-13 is located on chromosome 5 .

General information
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Interleukin-13 is formed by activated CD8- and CD4-positive T-lymphocytes. Interleukin (IL)-13 affects numerous cell types such as B cells, monocytes, NK cells, endothelial cells, and fibroblasts. Furthermore, IL-13 inhibits the activation of macrophages.

The cytokine inhibits the release and function of proinflammatory cytokines(Interleukin-1, Interleukin-6, Interleukin-8, Interleukin-10, Interleukin-12, Interleukin-13) as well as TNFalpha. Furthermore, the production of nitric oxide (NO) by macrophages is reduced. In addition, the expression of MHC class II antigens is promoted. The cytokine induces and maintains fibrosing processes and acts as an additive to interleukin-4. Together with interleukin-4, interleukin-13 plays a role in the defence against intestinal nematode infections.

For interleukin-13 and its receptor, overexpressions of interleukin-13 and its receptor (glioblastoma, colorectal carcinoma) have been demonstrated in a number of malignant tumors. From these observations, different treatment regimes were derived.

Interleukin-13 plays a pioneering role in diseases such as bronchial asthma and atopic eczema as well as in progressive systemic scleroderma.

General therapy
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Simultaneous blocking of the interleukins (IL)-4 and IL-13 leads to suppression of the clinical symptoms of bronchial asthma and atopic eczema. Dupilumab is a monoclonal antibody directed against the alpha chain of interleukins 13 and -4 inhibits the function of both interleukins. Dupilumab has already proven its efficacy in clinical trials in both bronchial asthma and atopic eczema.

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020