Increased levels of soluble interleukin-4 receptor in the sera of patients with visceral leishmaniasis

David K. Sang, John H. Ouma, Chandy C. John, Christopher C. Whalen, Christopher L. King, Adel A.F. Mahmoud, Frederick P. Heinzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Kenyan subjects with visceral leishmaniasis were examined for evidence of increased production of soluble interleukin-4 receptor (sIL-4R). Soluble IL-4R regulates the bioactivity of IL-4, a cytokine important in mediating progressive forms of leishmaniasis. Persons with visceral leishmaniasis sustained 8- to 10-fold more circulating sIL-4R compared with Papua New Guinea residents with documented filariasis or uninfected Kenyan and North American subjects. Soluble IL-2R concentrations were elevated nonspecifically in both visceral leishmaniasis and filariasis patients. These findings are significant given that IL-4 induces sIL-4R in mice, and treatment with recombinant sIL-4R cures progressive murine leishmaniasis dependent on IL-4 bioactivity. Further studies are indicated to determine whether the immunologic detection of IL-4 produced in human visceral leishmaniasis is obscured because of sequestration by soluble receptor and whether the production of sIL-4R is relevant to the pathogenesis of visceral leishmaniasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)743-746
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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