Unexpected involvement of IL-13 signalling via a STAT6 independent mechanism during murine IgG2a development following viral vaccination.
Hamid MA., Jackson RJ., Roy S., Khanna M., Ranasinghe C.
In this study, recombinant pox viral vaccination was shown to induce highly elevated IgG2a and low IgG1 antibody expression in mice lacking IL-4 or STAT6, whilst IL-13-/- mice exhibited elevated IgG1, but very low IgG2a. These findings revealed that IL-13 and IL-4 differentially regulated antibody development. To understand this further, when STAT6-/- mice were given a vaccine co-expressing IL-13Rα2 that temporarily sequestered IL-13, significantly reduced IgG2a expression, was detected. These findings for the first time demonstrated that IL-13 regulated IgG2a differentiation utilising an alternative IL-13R signalling pathway independent of STAT6 (IL-13Rα2 pathway). This was further corroborated by the (i) elevated IL-13Rα2 expression detected on STAT6-/- lung MHCII+ CD11c+ cells 24 h post IL-13 inhibitor vaccination and ii) significant up-regulation of IL-13Rα2 expression on spleen and lung derived MHCII+ CD11c+ following inhibition of STAT6 signalling in vitro, or vaccination with IL-4R/STAT6 antagonist in vivo. When T follicular helper (Tfh) cells which regulate antibody differentiation were assessed post vaccination, although no difference in IL-4 expression was observed, greatly reduced IFN-γ expression was detected in IL-13-/- and STAT6-/- mice compared to wild-type. These findings support the notion that the balance of IL-13 level at the vaccination site can differentially regulate T and B-cell immune outcomes.