IL-13 results in differential regulation of the complement proteins C3 and factor B in tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-stimulated fibroblasts

Y. Katz*, D. Stav, J. Barr, J. H. Passwell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


IL-13, like IL-4, a product of activated T cells, has multiple biological actions, primarily on B cells and monocytes. The purpose of the present study was to compare the effects of IL-13 with those of IL-4 on the synthesis of complement proteins in fibroblasts. Dermal fibroblasts were developed from skin biopsies. Confluent monolayers were stimulated with the relevant cytokine or combinations of cytokines and biosynthetically labelled with 35S-methionine. The specific proteins were analysed using immunoprecipitation and SDS-PAGE. Addition of IL-13 to fibroblast cultures treated with TNF-α resulted in a dose-dependent increase in C3 protein biosynthesis and a concomitant down-regulation of factor B protein biosynthesis. In TNF-stimulated fibroblasts, the addition of IL-13, 100 ng/ml, induced a 2.45-fold increase in the synthesis of C3, while in the same cells under identical conditions the synthesis of factor B was only 42% of the level without IL-13. Similar effects of IL-13 were noted on IL-1-treated fibroblasts. These effects were specific for C3 and factor B, and no alteration of the constitutive or TNF-induced synthesis of C1s or C1 inhibitor proteins was observed. IL-13 altered the synthesis of C3 and factor B proteins also in fibroblasts stimulated with interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) in addition to TNF, in the same direction as it did in cells stimulated with TNF alone. IL-13 has similar effects to those of IL-4 on the synthesis of C and factor B in TNF- and IL-1-stimulated fibroblasts. The observed effects of IL-13 are IL-4-independent, as anti-IL-4 antibody abrogates IL-4-induced effects, but has no effect on IL-13-induced responses. This interaction between different cytokines on the synthesis of proinflammatory and immunoregulatory proteins may have significance, particularly at local sites of inflammation, and may affect the synthesis of complement proteins in inflamed joint as in rheumatoid arthritis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-156
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Complement
  • Fibroblasts
  • IL-13
  • Tumour necrosis factor


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