A novel recombinant histamine-releasing factor (rHFR), which stimulates secretion from a subpopulation of human basophils that express a particular type of immunoglobulin E (IgE) or IgE+, was found to induce interleukin-4 (IL-4) production from cells isolated from these same donors. The secretion of IL-4 protein induced by rHRF significantly correlated with histamine release and the amount of protein generated, and the kinetics were identical to those caused by anti-IgE activation. Furthermore, the ability of rHRF to induce IL-4 protein production from cells not normally responsive to this protein was transferred by passive sensitization with plasma containing IgE+ antibody. That this novel protein stimulates both mediator release and the secretion of IL-4 protein from human basophils suggests a prominent role for this molecule in allergic disease.

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