IL-4 is a cytokine which can induce B-lymphocyte proliferation, increase cell-surface Ia expression, and induce some activated B cells to differentiate and begin to secrete IgE. IL-4 binds specifically to a cell-surface receptor (IL-4R) on cells from a variety of lineages including T and B cells. In general both primary cells and in vitro cell lines express less than 5000 receptors per cell. Utilizing a subclone of the cytotoxic T cell line CTLL-2 expressing a high level of IL-4R, mAb against the murine IL-4R were prepared. Two mAb have been identified which have different properties. These antibodies, designated M1 and M2, recognize sequences specific to the murine IL-4R. Immunoprecipitation studies with M1 and M2 on CTLL-2 cells have identified the receptor as a Mr = 145,000 cell-surface protein. Similar results have been obtained with the recently isolated full length murine IL-4R cDNA expressed in COS-7 cells. In addition the antibodies are capable of inhibiting IL-4 binding. One antibody, M1, is also a potent inhibitor of IL-4-induced proliferation. These antibodies will be useful in dissecting a wide array of activities attributed to IL-4.

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