Interleukin-4 deficiency promotes gallstone formation

Victoria L. King, Stephen J. Szilvassy, Alan Daugherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Feeding interleukin-4 (IL-4) deficient C57BL/6 LDL receptor (LDLr)-/- mice a modified diet to investigate the role of this cytokine in cholesterol metabolism led to an unexpected phenotype. IL-4-/- → LDLr-/- mice had enlarged gallbladders and an increased mortality that was preceded by acute body weight loss. To determine if IL-4 deficiency accounted for these findings, C57BL/6 IL-4+/+ and IL-4-/- mice were fed either a normal or modified diet. IL-4 deficiency did not alter bile composition or cause liver toxicity in mice fed a fat-enriched diet. Following 8 weeks of feeding a fat-enriched diet, no gallstones were detected in IL-4+/+ mice, and only 20% had cholesterol crystals. In contrast, IL-4-/- mice had a 100% incidence of gallstones and cholesterol crystals. IL-4-/- deficiency also increased serum concentrations of bilirubin following feeding a fat-enriched diet. Therefore, these studies revealed an unexpected finding that IL-4 deficiency predisposes to gallstone formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)768-771
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002


  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Cholesterol
  • LDL receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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