CXCR3-mediated opposite effects of CXCL10 and CXCL4 on TH1 or TH2 cytokine production

Paola Romagnani, Laura Maggi, Benedetta Mazzinghi, Lorenzo Cosmi, Laura Lasagni, Francesco Liotta, Elena Lazzeri, Roberta Angeli, Mario Rotondi, Lucia Filì, Paola Parronchi, Mario Serio, Enrico Maggi, Sergio Romagnani, Francesco Annunziato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Two variants of the CXCR3 receptor exist, one (CXCR3-A) reactive with CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL11 and the other (CXCR3-B) also reactive with CXCL4. Both variants are contemporarily expressed by human T cells. Objective: We sought to investigate the in vitro effects of CXCL10 and CXCL4 on the production of TH1 or TH2 cytokines. Methods: The cytokine profile of antigen-specific human CD4+ T-cell lines obtained in the absence or presence of CXCL10 or CXCL4 was evaluated by means of quantitative RT-PCR, flow cytometry, and ELISA. Results: CXCL10 upregulated IFN-γ and downregulated IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 production, whereas CXCL4 downregulated IFN-γ and upregulated TH2 cytokines. Similar effects were also observed on polyclonally activated pure naive CD4+ T cells. The opposite effects of CXCL10 and CXCL4 on TH1 and T H2 cytokine production were inhibited by an anti-CXCR3 antibody able to neutralize both CXCR3-A and CXCR3-B and were apparently related to the activation of distinct signal transduction pathways. Moreover, CXCL10 upregulated mRNA levels of T-box expressed in T cells and downregulated GATA-3 expression, whereas CXCL4 downregulated T-box expressed in T cells and upregulated GATA-3. Finally, CXCL4, but not CXCL10, induced direct activation of IL-5 and IL-13 promoters. Conclusion: CXCL10 and CXCL4 exert opposite effects on the production of human TH1 and TH2 cytokines, likely through their respective interaction with CXCR3-A or CXCR3-B and the consequent activation of different signal transduction pathways. This might represent an internal regulatory pathway of TH cell responses and might contribute to the modulation of chronic inflammatory reactions, including allergy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1372-1379
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005


  • CXCL10
  • CXCL4
  • CXCR3
  • GATA-3
  • Immune deviation
  • T-bet
  • T1
  • T2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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