Interleukin-4 (IL-4) is a signature cytokine pivotal in Type 2 helper T cell (Th2) immune response, particularly in allergy and hypersensitivity. Interestingly, IL-4 increases endogenous levels of prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) and its metabolites, Δ12-prostaglandin J212-PGJ2) and 15-deoxy-Δ12,14-prostaglandin J2 (15d-PGJ2), collectively called cyclopentenone PGs (CyPGs). However, the therapeutic role of IL-4 in hematologic malignancies remains unclear. Here, we employed a murine model of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), where human MLL-AF9 fusion oncoprotein was expressed in hematopoietic progenitor cells, to test the effect of IL-4 treatment in vivo. Daily intraperitoneal treatment with IL-4 at 60 µg/kg/d significantly alleviated the severity of AML, as seen by decreased leukemia-initiating cells (LICs). The effect of IL-4 was mediated, in part, by the enhanced expression of hematopoietic- PGD2 synthase (H-PGDS) to effect endogenous production of CyPGs, through autocrine and paracrine signaling mechanisms. Similar results were seen with patient-derived AML cells cultured ex vivo with IL-4. Use of GW9662, a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) antagonist, suggested endogenous CyPGs-PPARγ axis mediated p53-dependent apoptosis of LICs by IL-4. Taken together, our results reveal a beneficial role of IL-4 treatment in AML suggesting a potential therapeutic regimen worthy of clinical trials in patients with AML.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere22328
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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